Narrow Door on a Yacht

Narrow door on a yacht, starboard
on the deck, slim passage for a crew of one,
an old man whose bones look discovered
from the dig of his winnowed skin.

American anorexic, retired to a cabin
of tight appetites, buoyant spa,
monastic and marine.

His walls, his people, his music: imaged in flat
patinas of black-and-white, sepia, coffee-spatter yellow,
a memory chain of buoys that plot
in reverse the course he followed in the colors of day.

Hammered shrimp rig, a squid trail jig
in its wake seagulls too rude to fly in formation
the water-filled cool-looking phantom chill
squandered by humid wind filled with toxic heat.

Roseate spoonbills tear up the mundane sky, flip-side wings
the color of Pink Cadillacs, flip sides of vinyl records
a skip-drone of black and blue song that beats you up.

Fleshdust and dandruff fallout, all the riffs not snowing
crumbling coral reefs un-growing, foghorns sampling harborside
the slow lighthouse disco.

Hardest passage is always a veil
where the straits of being sift
like suffering, a character fade in a tin funnel hat
singing the tribulation of abundance.

The old man believes an alien public
will find his ship, unmoored and listing
in some gentle Alzheimer tide, his small windows
bleach-eyed and dead-fished.

Kenneth Alewine is an adjunct professor at San Jacinto College in Houston and a medical travel writer in the fields of melancholia, visual arts, music, poetry, and consciousness studies. He received his PhD in Medical Humanities from the University of Texas Medical Branch and has performed some of his electronic music set to original video microscopy at global venues that include the renowned IRCAM in Paris, France; the Cankarjev dom in Ljubljana, Slovenia; and Umeå University in Sweden. Kenneth’s poems received a “Top Honors” award in the 2019 Friendswood Public Library Ekphrastic Poetry Contest. His poems have appeared in Eunoia Review, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, UCity Review, Epigraph, Psychic Meatloaf, Apeiron Review, Vayavya and elsewhere.

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