1864 c/o Anthony Adler

Imagine it's a violin. And that's the romance:
that the ship's alive inside the wind and cables,

that the instrument is acting to make beauty.
She's a sloop-at-war; she and her men

make carnage. But so excellently!
All those other ship-souls burnt!

Their cargoes - burnt!
She strained the world against the world

in ravagement. And is that ever more than murder? Is that art? And then the Alabama,

holed under the waterline,
not now an instrument of grace or violence,

just a hulk, a vessel like those ship-souls burnt...
Her captain got away, of course;

her doctor drowned.
We sing, though, don't we?

Roll, Alabama, roll:
and she sank
to the bottom
of the ocean floor;
O roll, Alabama roll.