I may be on Dead Man’s Island a long time.
I may be left here struggling with the ghoulies and the gypsy moths
with but a toothpick in my holster and the rising tide around
the phantoms keep me.
I may not speak for days, saving shallow breaths in a cave which threatens to shrink and crumble over me,
but the phantoms are sure to give me the music.
I may have been convinced to hug an anchor or worse
if not for them,
singing relentlessly in the voices of those who never did,
“We know you will,
O breathless pilgrim,
We see you in your darkness,
We know you’ll find light one day,
We know you will.”
And as it happens when the tide fills my cave,
and my head breaks the surface of my tortured heavens,
and I can see thousands of islands like mine, prisoners flung helplessly
in the throes of despair,
I sing as loud and as long
as my breath can spare
for those who don’t have any phantoms:
“One day we will find the light,
My friends, someday,
I know we will.”