Anchorage

If my anchor had a face it would be yours.
There are so many stenciled anchors
in different shapes and sizes
found on wrists and necks
and the small of your back.
They are badges of some sunken safe haven
caught in stand-still.

But each thing has an opposite,
and for anchors these are feathers;
anchors are not conducive
to flying away.

Anchors have hooks and they
burrow like swollen ticks.
With heavy weight they lock
their ships at harbor,
though the vessels strain
with empty sails
for the stretch of blue beyond their ports
and the cold, shapeless freedom of the sea.

You are the anchor and the chain
as the wood of my ship
creaks and groans,
pulls against that ancient device
which holds it in place.
With each desperate tug the boards grow weaker,
the salt bites at the railings,
and the tide drags out while a shore creeps ever closer
with a smile that is
sharp rocks and jagged endings.

You are my anchor
and with red-rusted fingers
you cling to a wasteland
where the churning of sand reveals nothing but
the remnants of rocks long dashed to nothing.

You wrestle the winds
and the currents
both wicked and fair
as I struggle towards a sun
nestled close on the waves
of a shifting horizon.

You will choke me with your iron leash
unless I saw you away with the last of my strength,
leave you there in the tumbling dust
of an ocean floor,
so that I might fill my sails
and do what great ships were built for,
which is sail towards the cloud-covered sun
with its faint promise of light.

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