folded around itself--
an oblong envelope of warm life,
a kind of metal pita making extreme depth and enormous pressure survivable.
Aboard this vessel is Blonde Katy, the sailor's friend.
There is no official roster on which her name is recorded,
and yet, she is there,
gloriously naked beneath a rough green blanket,
on a bunk mid-way between the sun and the Earth's fiery core.
There are things she will do--
things not just anyone can do,
things that make the windowless months less nightmarish.
There are islands,
beautiful prayers offered from blameless lips,
but do any of them exceed Blonde Katy's soft skin in life-saving magnificence?
Like the submarine Edvard Grosk, she was born in Gothenburg,
or was it Oslo?
Whatever the case, she was a rider beneath her mother's ribs,
a miniature ship in dry dock,
until she came down the greased skids as a water baby,
meeting her natural element and taking to it thereafter;
Blonde Katy, swimmer in the clear pure sweetness of a maritime calling.
Is there any priest, any beautiful figurehead,
who could claim hearts the way that Blonde Katy can?
Why, the captain himself relies upon her.
Her long fingernail trailing along his absurd hairy stomach is more telling,
more revelatory, than any computerized graphic or sophisticated sonar available.
If God were to pluck a burning star from the Pleiades or the Southern Cross,
and hold it in the darkness of His palm,
it would uncannily resemble
Blonde Katy aboard the submarine Edvard Grosk,
164 fathoms beneath the surface of the sea.
Finding yourself there,
one Divine whim away from being flung into oblivion,
would you kiss her?
Would you sleep with her,
though you be male, female, or companionway rivet?
Would you quibble over trifles, or bleat about nonsense like fidelity
or the future?
You would not.
Blonde Katy would be your reaping angel,
and the submarine Edvard Grosk your glorious flaming chariot
bound for Home,
or some other as yet uncharted destination that you would know by feel
as if you were a nautilus ecstatically discovering its ideal shell.