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The Tea Boat in Hong Kong Harbor

Music: lighter-than-air math

By Eric DovigiPublished 5 months ago 1 min read
The Tea Boat in Hong Kong Harbor
Photo by Pat Whelen on Unsplash

Snow fell upon the deck of the Tea Boat,

Orange beneath lantern light,

And there was no sound but the muffled laughter that rose from the cabin below.

Over the aft rail a single strand of electric light a mile distant

Stretched from the farthest north to the farthest south,

And the seawater between the rail and the lights ran thick

And scraped the sides of the Tea Boat.

The Tea Boat slinks careful where the waves meet,

Lanterns off the rails, tea soaking in the hull water,

Fauna of the ocean bottom: reach up,

Benthos and flotsam, marry.

The bindlestiff bingles on the rail above the tangle

Where the seaweed catches its reflection.

The Tea Boat is my castle, and I walk the ramparts,

Arms behind my back, douli shading moonlight from my brow.

The Tea Boat and I push out into the South China Sea.

Help! Some water-fever has caught me.

I pick at the lint in my bedsheets and rattle my wrists at the points of stars.

The Tea Boat doctor paces the cabin with his arms behind his back,

His douli forgotten in a corner.

“Doctor,” say I in my delirium, “There be a floccus in my sheets.”

“That’s only your thoughts talking,” sayeth the Doctor. “The reality is much more dangerous.”

So, after all of it, the Doctor told true.

There was nothing in my bed but loose tea,

though God help me, I could not drink it!


(Music-----lighter-than-air math.)

surreal poetry

About the Creator

Eric Dovigi

I am a writer and musician living in Arizona. I write about weird specific emotions I feel. I didn't like high school. I eat out too much. I stand 5'11" in basketball shoes.

Twitter: @DovigiEric

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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  • Novel Allen5 months ago

    Original and entertaining. Great story.

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