purgatory was a spot to be avoided by anything
living that had sense, the oil seeping up
through a fissure a thousand feet down.
we had been out there for two months.
at night we would eat barnacles on metal
catwalks, swinging our legs and talking
about what we would do when we got back
to the mainland. if you spoke too softly you
wouldn’t be heard over the waves, if you spoke
too loudly, the whole rig would start to groan.
every day a little more rust would appear
where the water slapped against the supports.
we sat in silence when we ran out of things to say,
listening to the ocean thrumming below us.