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North of heaven, this narrow inlet

is jettied for some protection

but certain safety is scarce

unless you dare not venture

beyond the Atlantic sands and

scattered seashells at ocean's edge

high or low tides bringing chipped

china and tumbled horse bones

from an 1890s slaughterhouse barge

restless in the deep in the dark


South of heaven, the curve of

a ferris wheel circles

at night sparkling and hesitant

as lovers scream like seagulls

oblivious to the rotting yawl

that ran aground, left to linger

although no lives were lost that day

unlike when stealthy ships

unlit, unflagged, unmarked

were sinking during times of war


West of heaven, the bay preens

for the tourists, displaying

seafood, lemons, local lettuce,

tomatoes, herbs and trinkets as

the fishermen work from

dawn to dusk except on Sundays

when they show up at church

weathered faces wearing sandals

singing lustily before being

blessed to begin again Monday


East of heaven, where the

ghost ships lie waiting

barnacled and camouflaged

wrapped in black seaweed like

unseasonal Christmas presents

hold tight to your children because

leftover laughter and dashed dreams

from soggy souls trapped

in stranded vessels seek without eyes

or fingertips to devour the living


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