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It was upside down in the sound
for well over a year before any sure action
was agreed upon how to remove it.
The ship slipped in the water, stuck, then tipped;
it's cargo included hundreds of cars.

It would be cut up and pulled out in parts, slowly.
For months boats of workers circled this
great endeavor, multitudes of motors grrrring
into the sound.
The ship sat encased in machinery comparable
to a roided-out erector set
as oily residue floated atop the ocean until sliming over the island shores.

Human vessels aren't typically able
to carry cars inside us, but
we can be cut and we can get stuck
and we can tip over until upside down.
One can be capsized so long alone
they still can't even fathom their status
as pariah of the Golden Isles.

I'd never be read right if I'm upside down-
but didn't know I was this capsized and loathed woman
for so many years
until it descended on me suddenly as
shocking hard droves of hate.

The ship is not misunderstood. Just heavy.
It and the cargo of cars are mourned.
The ship had purpose and was useful in life.

My usefulness had dwindled to nil
and all the cuts I fashioned on the top of my wrist
did not improve my usefulness one bit.

At age nineteen I wrote a terrible poem with
terrific alliteration
about heartbreak and the marshes on this island
just a few miles from the decades-later
Golden Ray flip ending.
In the poem I drive into the marsh and
the mill men carry me out- a morose and dazed
vessel of a spirit that proved nascent in reality now.
The struggle to just keep breathing
for years I couldn't count; tired and sick
and lost. Middle-aged.
Stuck in a pariah stage
wondering
how this could ever get changed.

It might help if I were not still capsized.