The Ferry to New Jersey
As we boarded the ferry, a white ambulance went by,
Its windows oblong black rectangles.
Her hair red, but under the vermilion neon of the neon girl
Kicking up one leg, her red hair streaked with vermilion.
The ferry ride promised a future. On the distant shore,
Multicolored lights and their auras.
The lights send out pale hands, and the pale hands
Struggled to push away the darkness.
My body felt tremors, the after effect of a subway ride,
And from the motions of an ocean I saw last year.
Out on the water, life was growing vague
As I watched shore lights glow and color pier poles.
I felt I was something cut out by scissors from the world around,
And pasted in a scrap book, and its pages closed.
When we arrived in New Jersey, we only arrived at a carnival;
We could have stayed from where we departed, had more carnivals.
It was like not finding the answer that I prayed to know;
Prayer was like a barrel out in the open, but empty in a rain storm.
We came back on the ferry from New Jersey, formalists without content,
I was a pilgrim with staff that found the location, but not the shrine.
We kissed good night at the door of a dormitory,
A white ambulance with long, dark windows went by.
Copyright © 2003 Duane Locke