Shipwrecks

From Common Ground Review, Fall/Winter 2017

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I have been awake, dreaming of shipwrecks
ancient planks unraveling from broken ligatures,
Marseille, Marseille, Marseille, Agay-
Anthéor — (avaient perdu leur…
had lost
their…” Underwater, the sound of waves above
seethes and rushes, no
underground on a subway ride,
and everyone, and I, are tired, and tired
nod together like kelp, that rushing,
air from an eyebrow-window
cocked. I feel pressure on my knee.
“À partir de 600 av. J.-C,” light speckles
moldering wood, rolling like a voice,

“What is it you’re reading?
Faction, or non? I just want to talk to you.”
A thick, friendly face, reeking of beer,
an eyetooth’s a gap, gaping. I cower
down into the sheeny page.
Six-hundred years before Jesus Christ.
“I know about books,” he says,
I just want to know, is it Stephen…” trailing off,
he gives up. His hands rest like
leather crabs on the bright denim
of his knees. Below the cuffs,
his new sneakers have black and yellow laces,
crossing eels with neon backs, I wish

to say something back to him,
something, like “Yes,” as in, I too
am a beautiful wreck, shattered in sand,
and drifting with the tides.

Written by

Historian, poet, digital engineer. Fiction at @mooncityreview, @longform, & @BklynQly. http://www.benjaminharnett.com

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