a mastless boat is nothing

Stand in the bilge, replace the bite of wind

With water cold as from a lover’s glare

And feel the ache of bone ere we rescind

The empty friendships who would take our share

Of every moment pure and unashamed

We touch what is allowed, and dare beyond

To lace and black where womanhood is framed

That unctuous curve that rises to respond

To fingers calloused by the rope in dreams

Where bronzed we sailed in aqua nightmare tales

And through the tangle of the sighing streams

We knew that in the end, nothing prevails.