Only five degrees to the north or south,
shifted just slightly from this present course
(here where the still air hangs in the mouth
and even expelled shows no sign of force)
and the trip would have been much different,
without all this vain waiting on the wind,
sitting drenched in sweat, no course apparent,
sails limp and useless as light to the blind.
At the horizon the edge of the sea
is flat and motionless; it does not stir
nor show signs of life in its murky deep.
The paralyzed air tastes stale, hard to breathe;
reason’s vision, exhausted, seems to blur
as towards a foul darkness the hours creep.
24 MAR 2003