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Prayer stink of diesel fumes, heavy with spew
and retch and thirty-three sailors sublime

depth charge billow; surging, rippling through
lean meat hull. Old-school counting time;

the way any cult embraces its fate —
a hint of dark ecstasy. Coffin boats —

how the drowned baptized them. Damn-cans with hate
of brine crushing through the screams in our throats

and the rivets and the hull. Lone language
of war sounds like submariners at prayer,

counting down seconds until the next blast.
Would you speak love to me in such carnage?

Would you kiss me? or let the sea’s anger
hush me love while you stare numb and aghast?