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The Steamer, and: Seven Deadly Sins
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The Steamer, and: Seven Deadly Sins

The Steamer

They are waiting for a shipIn the landlocked suburbs;Women hanging clothes,Their fingers full of pins,

Imagine sweeping decksAnd cocktails. The yardsClose around themLike venus flytraps;

The mailman trudging upThe walk countsDown his stops toA happy weightlessness

While the ship sailsInto the fantasyOur quiet hearts recall.How many ships

Their mast lights growingBrighter, partThe waters of our dreamsSoundlessly in sleep? [End Page 302]

Seven Deadly Sins

Sloth is as normalAs lust. A cheetah hunts at seventy miles per hour.It spends most of its time in sloth.To a soldier in combatIdleness is good; it is a prelude to terror.Five minutes of terror is worth five years of sloth.Lust never leaves you; it is as natural as hunger.Lust fulfilled is happiness. Love triples it.Gluttony replaces starvation with feasts.Greed is essential. It leads to prosperity.Pride is the engine of achievement. WrathIs an engine of the will. It is a fighter’s necessity.Envy sets an example with a littleJealousy for drive.

How can we live without the seven deadly sins?When a snake bites it is its nature to bite.When a woman enchants beyond reasonYou fall out of reason … you fall.Where is the sin in that? [End Page 303]

Ron De Maris

Ron De Maris is a retired professor of humanities, English, and creative writing from Miami Dade College, where he taught for forty years. His work has appeared in many magazines, including The Paris Review, American Poetry Review, and Poetry.