Horse Latitudes


Far below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, one of the first treasures of its kind can be found. It's an artificial reef, created from a former Phillips Petroleum production platform.

And while you can't see it, this reef has attracted the attention of hundreds of species of fish. As a result, this is something that has also been attracting the attention of many commercial as well as recreational fishermen.

Although we left this underwater paradise years ago, we took with us an unforgettable picture of life that will remain deep within us all. And it is one which will endure for generations to come. To us, that's what it means to be the Phillips Petroleum Company.

When you first have a child you think you are throwing stones into a pond. Gradually you realize that you are the one who is sinking.

You don't remember when your parents took to you to Bermuda. It was young then, and those memories have sunk deeper than the photographs in the cluttered chest. You don't remember your hat, your plastic shovel, or the jellyfish. But you do remember the photograph. It was beneath the glass of your father's desktop when you were fifteen, after his five years of alcoholism, after the oil spill, after the company offered him to the media, after he was a scapegoat, after his photograph was splashed across every paper, after environmentalist hate mail dragged him down, after he sank into depression, after the phone call your mother received the night he jumped off the bridge and disappeared into the bay forever.

You have put the photograph in the chest which you will someday open for your own children. When they are old enough, you will rent a boat and scuba gear and take them to the spot where the platform sank. You will dive with them and show them the very wreckage of the tanker their grandfather piloted. You will tell them what he drank like and how many spills the company has been responsible for. Maybe you will quit then.




addition poetry
progressive poetry

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Table of Forms
© 1996-2006
Dominique Fitzpatrick-O'Dinn
Spineless Books