Round Trip

A ferry ticket never expires. It may wrinkle
in a wallet, but it doesn’t expire. One ticket, one ride.
A frayed stub holds to its serration. This ferry will take you
over foam or frozen water. A ticket meant for the outside ride.
No one stays too long on the island. No one doesn’t travel
round trip. It’s like socks. The swing has to swing back.
Or slow down. Or get caught.

Go ahead now. Scale a tar scaffold. Ascend the elbow
of this dock’s grip. Duck inside the throat.
Hot potato pieces float. Sandy clams sink
through oil and cream. Seats fill quick with pretty ladies
and thick dogs. You might wretch at the sterile mold.
Grip a dirty handle. Wait for some semblance of calm.
Fight the wind or the weight. Cleave the door from its seal.
This kind of sun gives a ferry its white. Air carries its flavor.
Metal holds its chill. The sun makes it all white.
Wind loses your chowder before you can. The horn
Always startles you. The ferry will go. You will all go.
The line of the island will rise like ink into letters.
Recognize crumpling pages of what once lay flat.

Who cuts a round trip sharp? Who split this ticket?
How did you get this slip? At this dock, a ferry ticket
never expires. That’s why we on the land buy in pairs.


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