Ali Shapiro: Hook

Your hand was not enough—I want the rest.
The taste just whet my appetite for lean,
mean meat, your salty pirate’s flesh. I dream
your ship gone low and leaky, and your men
all drowned, so I get you alone, as motherless
as the boy you’re chasing, as the sea
itself. And in the dream, no sound precedes
me—the treacherous treasure in my chest

gone silent, finally, and your sharp ears
useless as empty shells. Alas. The clock’s
my tell, the hand’s been dealt, your ship is docked
and safe. O Captain, crocodile tears
are all I’ve got—you’re tearing me apart!
And the ticking that you hear, it’s just my heart.



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