/ Poetry /
We have reached the smallest place.
The crew doesn’t understand
my plan, my map—
they think some treasure’s buried here—
and by the time we’re ashore I’m no longer captain.
But you can’t call it mutiny:
they know that if I die the ship
will vanish, and another—
a superdreadnought flying the flag
of some value—break the horizon.
They subsist. I start inland.
When I thirst, wide thorned leaves
that usually trap insects
lie open, each a cup of rain.
Fruits hanging from the low boughs offer
protein as well as paradisal carbs.
When I pause, so does the landscape:
harsh outcrops soften, an escarpment
opens, suggesting a path;
flowers nod in that direction.
But what do I want to find?
That chest of doubly-looted gold
which alone would satisfy my cutthroats?
At the center, perhaps—I say it is—
of the island I encounter
a brilliantly clear pond
with reedy edges, creatures … It is the sea.