Cumming, Georgia, USA
Though you've been gone for many years, those shell plates you welded might be slipping past the Straits of Hormuz tonight holding back tons of ocean.
A boson's mate may be snoozing in his berth while dreaming of "tigers in red weather," his knuckles resting lightly against a bulkhead you sized and set into place, a sailor's home away from home.
The watertight door you cut and hung in the pilot house that night: it's yours, and still gushing with a spray of sparks that lit up San Francisco Bay though no one seemed to notice but the neon eyes of the city.
But that's alright. It was the same for the pyramid builders, and for the stone-cutters who shaped those magnificent flying buttresses at Chartres, whose secret purpose was to keep their blessèd cathedral from floating away. Now, not a single freighter sails through Savannah or anywhere else without reminding me of you and that old canvas tool bag you slung over one shoulder when you limped up the gangway, at age seventy-two, for another day of work:
that's also a kind of immortality, nay?
with the hum of ships' diesels
seeping into bones