6 months at sea, on a cold cargo ship..
2000 containers, stacked as even as the dishes in grandma's cupboards..
Checking the lines, tightening the bolts that the sea slowly loosens..
At the days end, bunk time, a precious 12 hours till next shift..
Plugging a laptop into an old jack in my bunk..
Only 3 text emails a day, routed through the sat-link on the bridge..
I check the local listings in Miami, hoping to find an email friend for the voyage..
I notice the name Jamie on the local listings, I knew a Jamie once, a girl from school years past..
I type hello, pleasantries enclosed, hoping for a reply..
The next day a reply, small talk, Jamie's sweet..
She isn't the same Jamie I knew, but we connect and keep writing each day..
Jamie and I get close, writing long emails, few secrets kept..
5 1/2 months pass, Jamie fills my mind each day..
Only 2 weeks until i come home, counting hours now..
I email Jamie, let's meet when I get home..
The screen goes blank, Jamie doesn't reply to my message..
3 days, nothing..
What did I say, what went wrong, why..
Saturday an email waits, it's her..
I'm sorry, I've been so sad this week..
I've let you think something about me that isn't true..
I lied, and I won't be able to hide it if you ever saw me..
And… Well… I love you… And I selfishly led you on..
I'm in the dark I said, I don't understand at all..
I don't care what you look like, how did you lie..
Jamie hesitates.. 5 minutes pass..
Because I'm a guy, not a girl like you thought..
My name sounds female, but is a guy's name too..
It just happened, then it was too late to tell you, we got so close so fast, you would have stopped writing..
Are you serious.. What, you're gay..
I slam closed the laptop..
3 days pass, we arrive home tomorrow..
I'm calm now, I thought things through..
I email Jamie one last time..
I'm still upset, but I guess I understand now..
When I get home tomorrow we all leave the back of the ship, walk the block away to the parking lot..
You can sit in the park by where we walk past, if you want to see what I looked like..
But I have no words, I'm still so confused..
I just want to go home..
We dock at 7am and all head down the walkway to the parking lot and our cars and taxis await..
Feeling so sad, my head looking down counting cracks in the sidewalk, to keep from crying..
I notice a guy standing alone away from the walk just watching everyone leave the ship and walk past..
I glance a second time, he's still looking toward the ship..
His face is red, with tears, I know it's him..
He never saw me walk past..
I stop, turn and look towards him..
He sees me, and somehow knows it's me to..
From the distance between us I see him mouth the words, I'm sorry..
I silently say, I know..
I drop my bags to the ground..
Walk up to him and we hug, sobbing for a long time..
Let's go home I whisper..
But you're not Gay..
It doesn't matter I say..
When it comes to my heart, I don't care..
by Lj Mark 2015
Not really a poem, a short story formatted like a poem. All fiction, with some traces of a dream I recently had.