Mercutio, Fetch My Derringer

The article reads like a ghost story
a sadistic older cousin tells
with a flashlight for a microphone
in a midnight bedroom
the night before a holiday
when visiting from out of town:
Wooden ships laden with dead seagoers
have been washing ashore
on the Japanese coast which faces the Koreas.

The bodies are badly decomposed
left at the mercy of currents for weeks.
There are photos of first responders
or whatever they call those in Japan.
Investigators use surgical face masks
to mitigate the stench of liquefied flesh.
It's a recurring nightmare for the locals.
Finding boats containing corpses
is enough to madden a prophet.

To think that this happens
in this Year of our Lord.
To think of the conditions
that warrant this grisly gamble.
To think of the regrets
that went through their heads
as the seagulls circled hungrily
awaiting tender eyeballs.

It's enough to drive a man to Christ
this Age of Information.
Instead I watch a speck of floating cork
and wonder if wine
can turn back to water.

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