A seagull trails sails, rippling
against invisible hands, salt-tipped fingers
exchanging blows and nudges
with the aching ship, wooden ribs croaking.
The tiny acrobat twists and dances
in a refuse trail of sailor’s tired taunts,
the soft seasawing of this wooden whale
in and out of waves,
the sigh of its faded flag
against light and fog.
He glides, undaunted,
beak to sun, wingtips to wind,
dumb to the cries, curses,
of thin masts and pale arms
slowly crawling beneath the waves.