Let’s say I’m Captain Cook, setting sail to drift
until currents push me
into a certain lane, certain highway
with its humpbacked traffic bobbing along.
My young aren’t strapped in the back
flinging Cheerios into the crevices like a game of darts
but moored in the house with my patient wife
so I can seek my destiny here—
And I have no destination, not the Friendly Center
or aquarium—I journey only
to find a usable route.
I’m stewing the bones a fourth time
to leach any last savor for my
not gumming pirate birthday cake
with seafoam-colored frosting, nor
placing my order at the drive-thru
(no, not a Frosty, not a McRib)—
Place-names are still to be scrawled,
new-minted to mark
this passage, its weather and bits of luck.
The usable route’s a velvet highway I’ll trace
to parchment—a new day, a new world,
not the GPS lady recalculating—
These words held in my mouth,
these words a way to inscribe we are not lost
in a vast expanse of lostness.