The ship’s deck slowly rises & settles
on the night sea. I study celestial charts,
track a satellite’s red-pulse through binoculars.
As the moon ripens over the black horizon
I bend memories with Mercator lines past home
& all the girls who lingered far enough away,
orbiting at a safe distance.
The woman in the moon, full now,
mouth slightly opened in a half-smile, halfgasp
surprise, blushes with another’s sunset.
I settle between swells on the memory
of her who eclipses ship, sea, stars --
Whispering into the ocean’s ear
I wait for her salty-sweet breath.
Peter Vanderberg served in the US Navy from 1999 – 2003 and received a MFA from Queens College, CUNY. His work has appeared in CURA, LUMINA, The Manhattanville Review and in collaboration with his brother James’ paintings in their book, Weather-Eye. He teaches at St. John’s Preparatory and Hofstra University.