Man Proposes in Life Raft near Antarctica

This is not some moral question, a philosopher's
trick meant to reveal something vestigial,
this is not an ember guarded ever since
we left Punto Arenas, a small heat chamber
pumping out only a few hertz of energy
but having the power to comfort us through
thick and thin, this is not a line about islands
and surrounding salty waters, though all that
is true enough, or about two ships passing, since
that is only one, sinking, but we're not, no,
we're afloat, our eyes looking for signs
of rescue, our hands held in fervent hope
that tomorrow, and now we come to it, don't
we, or at least I do, as I can see you're losing
the thread of what I'm trying to say to you,
I know you're cold, you're shaking dearest,
quivering, fervent, anxious for the whipping blades
to come take us to a warm bath, a goose down
comforter, a hot meal, that there be no sickness
and only health, though in sickness I'd stick
by you, that's what I want to say here and now,
and that when we've kissed before the priest,
or reverend or court clerk, whatever, I don't care,
then we'll run off to palm trees and sand beaches
and fruity drinks with tiny pink and gold and blue
umbrellas leaning against the glass and you in
a bikini and me oiled and tan, what do you say?

—Athena Kildegaard, Morris, MN