“Hart Crane” by Sean Hanrahan

Frothy myths of Eros had kept your ship
afloat. Insincere pats of love, a sailor’s

concessions to a man not his bride, the
sea. My window crying in the solemn,

cold October air reminds me of you
pacing the final transport of your life.

Cigar clutched in chubby fingers stubbed from
writing epics recreating the past

of a country whose poetic future
you had hoped to shape. Cast off to the wind

by an irresponsible lover who
fucked you to the rhythm of a rocking

ship and who you pinned your obsession
onto like a tack on a map of the

Isle of Pines, your harbor in the restless
wake of an age where romanticism

fled for Spanish hills and died a noble
death battling tyranny. Last salvation

dashed against unflinching rocks, reddening
the Atlantic, unwritten iambs splayed

like flotsam and jetsam bobbing needlessly
on a swell. Eddies of torment whirled in

your despondent mind, plagued by a poet’s
insecurity and lack of income.

Panhandling from former simpaticos
was no longer lucrative. Doors close to

the needy, even the talented, when
whisky ravings no longer satisfy

the literati. No more rope-chafed hands
to caress you who needed so much from

a world as tempestuous, as fickle
as the sea. Already drowning, you chose

to offer your life to the gods of the
submarine temple of Atlantis, to swim

among the legends you resurrected.
The last sounds: caws of the seagulls and your

father’s Midwestern voice lecturing, you
could have chosen something more substantial.


Sean Hanrahan is a Philadelphian poet originally hailing from Dale City, Virginia. He is the author of the chapbook, Hardened Eyes on the Scan, published in 2018 by Moonstone Press. His work has been included in several anthologies and journals, including the Stonewall’s Legacy anthology. He currently serves on the Moonstone Press Editorial Board, as a poetry editor for Toho, and as an instructor for Green Street Poetry.