He thought the anchor
meant I’d weigh him down.
That after 40,000 leagues
I’d finally cut the rope
and leave him to drown like Salem.
But I was never on the hunt.
I was a pirate.

We adventured and scavengered
until our sails were battered,
our white flags tattered,
hoping to find some
treasure in each other’s chest,
mapping our way
toward the myth of someone else’s bounty.
We tried so hard to be
X marks the spot,
to be the ship
that comes to the rescue,
the tides that carry his body
toward sandcastles.

You can’t float without drifting.
You can’t see the distance for
the crook in his smile
or that time he drew a heart
around your initials
on the inside of his wrist.
You can’t see it.
You’ll never accept it.

Count your stars, they said.
Follow your compass, I thought.

I’ll always be sorry
that we never sought our confessional
before it was too late,
ashamed as two schoolboys
with a dirty magazine,
our guilt left shipwrecked in a dusty bottle.
Our messages lost for good,
but maybe that was for the best.

About Ry

It's so magical, it's gay.
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