ticket-taker stares wildly
into my face as if seeking a reason
for the worn plush of forever vacant seats
or why the aisles are steeper than usual
and narrow and split the darkness
like something only dimly remembered.
Under my seat, the floor is sticky with tears.
I touch the rough edge of my ticket stub
for reassurance, but up on the screen,
itís ninth grade still and my astonished hands
are feeling up Sue Morse through her bra.
There are ghosts floating everywhere.
My four young children, suddenly grown,
wave goodbye from the shipís railing.
Goodbye, I shout back, goodbye.
A man turns around and shushes me.
But who will warn them if I donít
of the sadistic captain, the mutinous seas,
the gnawing nostalgia for things that never were?