Sailing Out From Shilshole Bay

Sailing Out From Shilshole Bay
For Karen

The first thing heard is wind. Clinks and pings,
High-pitched whaps of lines against metal,
Birds, a couple talking. An old woman pulls
A chocolate cake out the back of a car.
Oh, the extravagance of cake during a sail
Amid the business of moving through water.
All systems: rigging, signs and nomenclature,
Maps and tide charts, halyards, sheets and bearings
Are useful instruments to beat upwind.
If I were rife with love, the air would not seem
So fresh, nor the wind tattoo my skin; I would not
Need a compass pointing toward permanence
To justify a fleeting love. Strong wind is enough, and
This sturdy boat heading for a port called home.

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