Remember, every lover is a corsair seeking glory,
An x-marks-the-spot, a longing for invisible treasure,

Every lover is an end-point and a start-point
In the history of the world, a spark in the bright flare

Of the possible. Our swashbuckling lovers remind us:
Once we were lazing children,

Housebound and shoreless,
With no concept of the sea,

But now there’s the ocean’s blue spool,
Fleet-winged gulls, windblown caravels,

Even spouting whales,
Crow’s nests, and clouds like a white armada—

And so, when we relinquish the body’s treasure map, our lovers
Discover us the way the sailcloth in the rigging

Fills with the trade winds, from the last of the night’s stars
Through the lavish tangerine of dawn, our ships

Gliding over sheets of light-glazed silver.

Copyright © 2023 by Cyrus Cassells and Brian Turner. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 29, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.