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(With apologies to Jane Austen)

Illusions fall away, and I am now the Captain,
Captain Frederick Wentworth of the Royal Navy.
My thighs are like a stallion’s and my hair is wavy.
I stride into a room and everyone starts clapping,
even an old Viscountess whose face is like a napkin
one tucks beneath one’s jowls to catch white drops of gravy
must interrupt a concert to ask the rich man-baby
beside her, “Who’s that god-like being, so big and strapping?”
That’s me – the Captain, Frederick Wentworth, if you please.
My coat is blue, my breeches white, I sail the seas
commanding other blue-white men aboard my ship
to swab the deck and hoist the sails. I flirt and quip
and flash my grin until I’m loved by everyone.
Born poor, I shall yet win each prize that can be won.