The yacht Comanche shattered the world record
for sailing across an ocean, but
when the crew was interviewed
they all said the same thing:
they said the vastness of the sea
is what you think about when you’re sailing fast
like that, not the urgency to get the slicing hull
moving towards its finest point, not even
the zeal to win or the close encounters with death,
but the unfathomable and sheer size
of the water that surrounds you. Let’s be honest:
it’s easy to recognize space in the middle of an ocean.

Everyday I go to work in heavy traffic. I drive under tall
buildings that bend to hide the length of sky that could
help me chart a course. From my view you can’t see
the universe or even the expanse of an ocean; from my view
you only stare at tall buildings and listen to the talk about weather,
as if someone from some corner office could know about
the vicissitudes of a wind or the way continents bow to let sailboats through.
Everyday I drive home from work,
still without knowing anything about the curve of this world,
about where storms come from, or for that matter if there’s any way
a boat can really outrun the wind.

About the Author

Casey Killingsworth has been published in The American Journal of Poetry, Common Ground, COG, Two Thirds North, and other journals. He has a book of poems, A Handbook for Water, (Cranberry Press, 1995) and a book on the poetry of Langston Hughes, The Black and Blue Collar Blues (VDM, 2008). He graduated from Reed College.