Cruising
there’s a story I want to tell you   dear
I met a woman yesterday who talked
of living on a cruise ship

her permanent floating home      but someone said
you wouldn’t have friends for long

they’d come and go      come and go      OK
she said      that would be fine
think of it      timeshare friendships that expire
in weekly segments

watching the man traveling with traveling
hands as he cheats on his wife

the chef’s palm      not yours      calloused
opening oysters
at the shellfish buffet

tomorrow the ship’s doctor or nurse
will tend to your gastritis       everyone’s fungible

inspect your facial furrows in your own cherrywood
spool mirror

anyway no one will remember how they’ve
deepened
as you sleep

in your cherrywood bed on 1200-count
percale sheets

dry your skin on Peruvian pima cotton
all the while cruising
                             unbruised
no one to mince your little heart
or mend it

dear      are you listening

©2017 Judith Pacht

©2008 Katherine Williams