Accessible by Boat (And Even Ours Should Make It)
It was after the path palmed itself away into a terrace of moss-laden brick. After the breeze started in the early morning as if to say see? there is mercy yet. It was after Orion’s nightly roundhouse kick from bay to gulf. Nightjar swiveled to mockingbird. It was after I started thinking about an old poem about someone else’s drunken boat. It was always going to be too late to head back to the mainland. A place past rational. An hour, too, that would bind three friends the way a good skiff flattens a ripple.
Teach me to let loose the arrow so it doesn’t fly away with the peacock and my soul will still be okay. They’re a nuisance on the island, and my northern friends wouldn’t understand. They wouldn’t understand a lot about this. The gentle tremble of the house when one of us barefoots down to the dock. How Johnny speared a fish by just standing there, presenting it wriggling on a pike. “The fuck?!” I startled as I had just settled into shelling some big pink shrimp. Nick’s grin started rolling around his whole head and kept on like that for three days. And why didn’t you fix the boat yesterday? Our private joke, retold over our private sunset.
How the moon shovels red tomorrow at us out of panic because the sun has run away. How coquinas get gently cooked in a stilt house without electric. How hundreds of tiny bivalves are needed to make a rich stew in a poor place that only the wealthy can afford. And we get it for a bottle of scotch, which we really had meant to leave for the owners. It sleeps up to 18 snug. In theory. And no matter how lush the bedding, we find ourselves on the porch by morning after that breeze hits slack tide.
But before the seas rise to make our place back in town waterfront itself. Not yet. Not before we kill the invasive toads that would kill the neighborhood dogs – every Floridian’s sworn duty. Before the summer floods that ferry their rafts of fire ants. How we always have to fix the boats. How many sunsets we got on camera. How we need to make some money when we can.
In our dream band, on coconut ocarina:
Sara Comito is author of Bury Me in the Sky (Nixes Mate) and a poetry editor for Bending Genres. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in places like Tampa Review, XRAY Literary Magazine, and The Night Heron Barks. She lives, writes, and works in construction in Fort Myers, Florida.