A Sailor’s Favorite Bar

The Sailor has a favorite bar, in every port of call,
A favorite girl too, slender, stout, or tall;
I’m no exception to the rule, immemorial in its time,
Not so very particular, though her beauty be sublime;

My favorite port of call, my favorite among the dozens,
Rota Spain and sweet Susanna, and all her pretty cousins;
Black hair my green-eyed beauty, and tiny about the waist,
Every time my ship made port, to her side I’d make all haste;

She’d greet me waving from the pier, a flush upon her cheek,
With a tearful kiss upon my lips, my knees she’d make go weak;
My hand in hers we’d run, “no time to waste” she’d admonish,
To Edificio La Costilla, in such time that would you astonish;

Felipe the doorman would smile, at Susanna and me together,
I’d lift her in my arms, she weighed no less than a feather;
Nine floors the elevator would take us, Susanna in my arms,
Closed the door behind us, Susanna—she’d reveal her charms;

She’d tell me all that she had done, since I had been away,
I’d tell her how I’d missed her, impatient for this day;
She’d search me for the treasures, she knew I’d hid from her,
The pretty jewels and cloths of silk, and Hong Kong portraiture;

Many hours later we’d wake, tightly bound one to the other,
She’d pinch to see if I were real, maybe a ghostly bother,
I’d return her pinch but softly, “Cariño, you are my dream,”
She’d laugh and move beneath me, our beating hearts a’steam;

Oh, the time we’d spend together, barhopping all night long,
The toasts to love and happiness, the days of wine and song;
I held her by her waist, so the wind it would not take her,
And stroll about with orange blossoms, whisp’ring of our future;

But time in port passes swiftly, for the Sailor and his lover,
No sooner had we kissed goodbye, but I sailed away forever;
For Susanna died one breathless night, surrounded by her folk,
Her lungs they said had given up, my name the last she spoke;

To sail the sea is heaven, I shed tears at Susanna’s nightsky,
Gooney bird, dolphin, whale, alongside they’re welcome to lie,
Though tempest tossed we be, the storm soon will subside,
Gently then we fall asleep, as in lover’s arms abide;

The days spin slowly one by one, the nights pass unaware,
Coffee hot and strong, ahoy, Shipmates, I ask–who has a care?
We often work around the clock, in danger no one’s late,
No man a’sail will soon admit, he doesn’t miss his favorite mate;

Susanna so deeply I love you, by King Neptune I swear this oath,
I left home always repeating, the beautiful words of our troth;
My first mate forever you’ll be, let the winds deal hard upon me,
My sails are set to take me, wherever I hope to find thee.

17 thoughts on “A Sailor’s Favorite Bar

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