Hook's Soliloquy

Anthony Borruso

Aye, Smee; I was once young too. Suspiciously blue
were my mother’s eyes. We took tea twice a day.
I hooked fingers in the dirt, feeling for earthworms,
centipedes, and those little insects that roll themselves

into marbles. I did not yet know the weight of a life
ebbing from a slit throat. It claws my heart, Smee,
how time comes ticking in its knobby reptilian suit.
Buoyant maelstrom, dagger in mouth, that insolent

youth, Pan, appeared. Dangled himself
like ambivalent bait. Twas he who gave that green
demon a taste of me. Twas he who cut me to
asymmetry. Smee, good breeding has done nothing

to nullify the ivy ropes that rule my mind. I hate
his band of sniveling boys, and the inchoate
grief that shows on his lips each time he mouths mother.
Do you see it, Smee? That smidgeon of misery

in his frolic? That wisp of black behind the eyes?
It’s his quietus that creeps inside my captain’s quarters
late at night, stoops superciliously over my bed.
Plot the course, Smee. Tell the crew to quit their liar’s

dice and mumblety-peg, tonight we sail toward
his light, we wave his shadow from our mast.