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MY DEAD WIFE
All ships left Boston's forbidding harbor.
I brought gold brandy in a flask.
To go to sea was a troubadour's task.
My mind was filled with blooms of an arbor.
The dreadful sun on the sails did glare
Upon my schooner, made of wood.
As the daylight died over the hills
I felt naked in my coat and my head was bare.
I certainly would have chosen to stay if I could,
But the ocean promised to cure my ills.
The caravan leapt into the waves
Like knives into a throng of billowing bread.
The captain pointed to the stars, then said:
"We sail to capture negro slaves."
Oh, how the Atlantic seemed endless to the eye!
Our creaking masts did tremble in the breeze.
Like a grove of sullen walnut trees,
They shook as they kissed the starless sky.
Neptune, Venus, and the Kraken's den
Awaiting to consume every soul on board
Yawned into one nebulous chord
Of a dismal hymn voiced by a siren.
At the center of the freezing brine
Which we reached in the span of three days time
I began to hear a queer stanza of rhyme
Which rose from the waves like forbidden wine.
Like Euripides' plays or Cicero's lines,
Like the dreams of Poe and Byron's sin
A terrible cold of horrors dove in
To my inner being, replete with signs:
Maritime warnings, of a vengeful ghost.
My sudden urge, my desperate impulse
Was to dive overboard from my wooden host.
Yet that was what SHE wanted most!
And my soul was thrown into the sea,
To a nameless fate
The Greeks called Hades.
And in that dark and baleful place
To my stark amazement I beheld her face,
Living only for eternal hate.
And then I recalled one black summer's eve
When I killed her with delight,
In a graveyard's isolation, where true death was wrought,
Bereft of all light,
And devoid of a witness (or so I thought) .
And in a prison beneath the oceanic floor
Each torrid moment is impossible to keep,
As I burn and weep
John L. Zwerenz
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"MY DEAD WIFE" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 29 Nov. 2022. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/111332/my-dead-wife>.