Nicholas Watts-Fernandez

Dead Man’s Cap

A pilot
on my last ship
left his cover
(his cap)
on the ship
after he transferred
He never called
to ask about it
I kept it
in my locker
for the day
when he’d call
for it back
I started wearing it
It was nice
and fit my skull
better than my old
cover from indoc

Two years later
the cap is still pristine
though I wear it
on special occasions
I got word
a year ago
that the pilot
who left the cap
was killed
in a car wreck
His DD
was drunk
and ran into
a pole

His cap
fit so well
I still wear it
though I know
he will never call
to ask for it back
That his life
like the name in the cap
has been scratched through
and my name
scrawled in its place.


Senses from Abroad

When I hear your tears
from thousands of miles
they sound like glass breaking
shattered flakes
hitting pavement
and I wish I could sweep them away

when I smell your fears
uncertainly through space
malodorous on the wind
nose wrinkling
scent of anxiety
I wish to burn it with incense of my hope

When I feel your smile
wide across horizons
it calms
the raging sea
of my dreams
I wish to never wake

When I see your laughter
across three continents
it gleams
light through raindrops
on sun flowers
I wish would never dry up

When I taste your kiss
on my lips across time
flavors of happiness
cherry blossoms and chocolate
I am home and
I wish to never leave again


Nicholas Watts-Fernandez is an Ofcer in the U.S. Navy and 2001 and 2005 graduate of Southeast Missouri State University. Prior to joining the Navy, he worked a variety of jobs in the education, food service, and hospitality industry, with brief interludes in the pest control and haberdasher fields. With no insurance and a newborn son, he signed up for the Navy and has been traveling the world ever since. He now has two sons and is still very close friends with their mother, an awesome Colombian woman and excellent nurse.