Set Sail For the Heart of the Sun (For David)

Set Sail For The Heart of the Sun (for David)
Set Sail For the Heart of the Sun (for David)

Set Sail For the Heart of the
Sun (for David)

Oh, Captain…
On our trip to the Island
We talked about many things.

We smoked Marlboros, ate sandwiches,
Did sailing things, talked through the tequila.
It was fun when the boat passed so close by, with the “horny” sailors…
Sharing with us the secret contents of their pants.

The talk that followed was so natural, to me.
It was about the most sensitive of issues,
But our discussion was as natural as my motion tonight.


The call came at evening.
I had to go to confirm his death…
That was my job.

When I saw him, I recognized that he was in that place-
The place we discussed on the boat.
My charge would have to be one of protection for him
As he tried to die.

He had already lived his life when he decided to let go.
We talked about his perception that life had become more of a hassle,
I argued successfully, for a few times, that it had not…
but the topic came up more and more,
Better argued each time.

I could see by his bony frame and mottled skin this was going to be my last visit.
His body felt so cold, so distant…not like living flesh…more like the best of impostors
His jaw slacking so…just severe enough to turn his face into a masque,
Unreal…but real enough…actually, as real as it gets.


I have served my Captain as valiantly as I could.
I have no such servant…my route is up to me, alone,
Searching the grimy walls of backrooms and johns in bars
They promise to show you a way to paradise…
But more often, they cannot deliver their promises
Unless there is someone as connected as we were…

Now *I* is all alone.

© Richard A. Martin, Jr., MD, 1996