It's all I have of you.
A faded note.
A demand to be burned then buried at sea.

You pierced the rival waves
with a sinking sharp mast,
before you lay scorched in a furious sun,
floating, thirsting, waiting to die
in a little rubber boat
where you wrote the nonsense of your burial.

My weakened arms hold your ashes
in an urn designed for roses.
Its smoothness transformed to
jagged metal and crooked rim.
Slimed with my tears.
Iced cold and iced hot, molten with denial,
pouring into an ashen urn all promises unkept.

When I return from sailing, you said,
We'll be married. I want us soon to plot the course
Of our uncharted journey.

Out there you must have screamed I think.
Solitary, you must have reached out.
Once long ago you told me that.
You said when you're away I reach out and
cling to the silent sound and smell and ghost of you.

Now I hold the ghost of you.
I stand on this ship I hate and
this watery place I hate and see the black waves waiting.
I carry your cries in this narrow vase of ashes.
You called out to me who loved you and
hearing you I turned over in my sleep and
dreamed of widows crying.

I shall leap with you into
the putrid waves and breathe their essence and
join you wherever you reach out alone and wait.
It's not that fearful. Fearful is releasing your ashes and
standing alone on a ship and
existing in a life without you and always repeating
our beginnings and ending. This ending.
This hell.

The others are below. They came to make a ceremony because
they say they loved you.
They want to sermonize and cry and wail and
comfort one another and drag it out to make everything all right.

It will never be all right.
Reach for me my dearest.

I'm almost there.