ODE TO PIRATE CAPTAIN BEIDOU
Oh, to be the sea shanty / curling on your tongue / the hands that know
the taunt of rope / the salt press of ocean wind / yes, you know the lightning raises
the hairs on your nape / before it strikes a shock of blue / yes, you are the body electric
palms pressed to sword pommel / swinging a haddock with the same grace / as a broadsword
Captain, I forget to be / seasick in the whitecapped wonder / of wild ocean
the laughter of the breeze / curling her blue fingers / into my hair and lips parted in joy
I would watch you / flip your eyepatch from shadow night / to blinding day
the girl who names you weak / has never dreamed / your thighs like two white sails
sea legs sliding apart / like moses parted red waters / Captain
the landlocked ladies you dream of / will never leave / their silk flowers and glazed mountains
I won't be another girl / you love and leave on the fisher's pier / Captain
it takes a woman to turn the bow / into the storm / it takes two to hold her steady.
Sylvi Stein (she/her) is an undergraduate at Columbia University in New York City majoring in creative writing and art history. Her writing has been published by Rattle Poetry Magazine, Eunoia Review, and The Decameron Project. In her spare time, Sylvi can be found wandering the aisles of used book stores, even though she has more than enough to read at home.