Neptune’s Ceiling

Slate gray skies, cloudy morning
in the navy yard, bucking battleships
ballasted by a hundred sleeping sailors
missing the hallelujah horn, morning reverie
the whistling siren of Atlantic winds
funneled by Potomac hostlers parking pintos,
as Ralph Nader nibbles muesli and reads the Times.

Long chained anchor, porcupine quill in the bay’s back
a Lilliputian dirge set in the key of Kazoo
drizzled honey cakes sampled by submariners,
crumbs stowed in torpedo tubes as Nemo
delivers inspired speeches, turtleneck turned up
captain’s hat pressed on Neptune’s ceiling
as he pirouettes demonstratively, gesticulating.

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