Based on the painting, “The Raft of the Medusa,” Théodore Géricault, 1819
This condemned raft on doomed waves
is in the paralyzing dark. Some cling,
some sang, some curse to no avail. Rudderless
sea birds not knowing the somewhere land. Some
lash with what they can, feeble, thirst-
drained in salt water, hallucinating.
The emptiness is sobbing. Some die, some slip away,
some cannibalize the dying while they are alive. It edits.
There is no resolve. No resolution. The ocean is dark
-red; the sky is a purple bruise. Some cry mercy
where there is none. The raft has no choice.
It tosses what it does not need into the gone.
We draw lots to see who is next. Thirst baptizes us.
The few become less. Survival eats at what remains.
The storm is a cannibal of relief. Another slips over.
How fatal we are when first we begin to pretend.Martin Willitts Jr retired as a Senior Librarian and is living in Syracuse, New York. He is currently a volunteer literacy tutor, and editor of Willet Press. He is a visual artist of Victorian and Chinese paper cutouts. He was nominated for 5Pushcart and 3 Best Of The Net awards. His forthcoming poetry books include “Waiting For The Day To Open Its Wings” (UNBOUND Content, 2013), “Art Is the Impression of an Artist” (Edgar and Lenore's Publishing House, 2013), “City Of Tents” (Crisis Chronicles Press, 2013), “A Is For Aorta” (Seven Circles Press, e-book, February 2013), and “Swimming In the Ladle of Stars” (Kattywompus Press, 2013).