An inlet. I am the narrow metal boat and also the boatman. I know of two options only: tether myself
somehow to the sour cleat of this earth, or drift.
But I never learned the knots.
I don’t know the buntline hitch or clove hitch, don’t know how
to bend the heaving line. I wake on the floor like a boat run up
on the shallows. Once I dreamed of a boatman with snub-nosed gun robbing me in my own home.
EACH PERSON IN YOUR DREAM IS A VERSION OF YOU.
He said he wasn’t afraid to use it, watched the window. He took everything.
-- Natalie Shapero is the Professor of the Practice of Poetry at Tufts University and an editor at large of the Kenyon Review; her second collection of poems, Hard Child, will be published in the spring.