somewhere south of here a girl in a bikini and a guy in swim trunks are walking past a house boat. they see its name painted on the side, make a grim joke and move on, slurping their icees. somewhere, you are laughing, murmuring about the irony (at least, you think it’s irony, you were never good with english) that your houseboat soaked in good memories shares the name of death, economic collapse, and upheaval. maybe you wonder what they’ll rename it, painting over the blue font with something inoffensive, like ship of dreams. maybe you’re thinking of resting on the bed, your great nieces and nephews running at your feet, drenched in lake water, eager to tell their parents about the voyages they’d had and the demons they hoped to slay. maybe you’re wringing a towel, setting out the tie-dyed shirts to dry, sipping from a gas station soda cup, whistling for your dog. maybe you’re waiting for this, too, to pass, for veined hands and grayed hair, for the night when we arrive on the dock, sunglasses and fresh tans, eager to set sail with you again.
By Corey J. Boren