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The Counterpane

from The Best of Call Me Ishmael by Patrick Shea

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Chapter 4: The Counterpane

Now he's hugging me,
Oh so lovingly;
I woke up in Queequeg's embrace!
Like a brother, pagan other
In my bed.

It reminds me of when I was but a child,
I once fell asleep
And woke with a phantom's limb
Hand in hand with me.

He's considerate,
Though not literate --
Politeness must be innate!
Like a patchwork of decorum
And disgrace.

And for all of my high civil breeding,
I have to admit
I stared on quite rudely
Through Queequeg's strange toilet.

So he shaves his face
With a harpoon blade --
A savagely civilized art!
He's a darkness, with a
Civilizing heart.

(c) and (p) 2008 Patrick Shea


from The Best of Call Me Ishmael, released March 7, 2012


all rights reserved



Patrick Shea Brooklyn, New York

Patrick is a nerd, a book lover, a math afficianado, an Ishmael, and an Ahab. He lives in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn with his wife and two daughters. He grew up in Portland, OR; and has also lived in Grinnell, IA (for college); and Austin, TX.

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