To Helen

by Daniel Bosch

At readings, as in Greek triremes,
We sit in rows, and row, and row,
Facing the stern, red-rimmed, and doughy
Face of someone Helen knows.

All in one boat, we take our strokes
As one, and make good time, reversed.
“Mur-” is our word, and so is “rum.”
Helen knows who used them first.

“Row” is her word, and so is “row.”
Our long oars slap the learned
Waves high fives, but in the stacks
Nine muses’ backs are turned.

No gods, no golden plastic
Wings, no pious flight attendant’s
Offerings—only a drumstick’s
Seatbelt-tightening cadence,

Its thudded promise: At landfall
Wine will flow from Helen’s lips.
How is it possible
There are a thousand ships?


About the Author:

Daniel Bosch is a Boston-based poet and the winner of the Boston Review’s first annual poetry contest. Daniel is also a poetry critic for The Arts Fuse.