Table of Contents - Vol. VII, No. 4
She said I don’t think
I can take another year of this
as the grinding whir of the gas heater kicked in.
He poured himself a mug full of cracklin oats.
It was spring. He cracked a window.
This near to midnight, it was ill-advised
to drink caffeinated tea, but he did so. A habit
he picked up during travels. That’s where you’re wrong,
well, just a bit off base – I know you mean well,
she said as the patron saint of Boca Grande
might have, light shining indirectly from above.
Many years before the winter of the broken heat
he went out on a fishing boat with his father.
All day he sat swatting flies and what the Admiral called
no-see-ums. He, his father, and the Admiral (who
was dating his grandmother at the time – no blood
relation) in the air so thick and wet
you could write your name in it,
sat on a bench at the pier, watching fishing boats
dock and clean their catch, throw scraps
to the pelicans who paddled effortlessly in the dark
marina water, whose webbed feet churned
beneath the surface. When the heat kicked in
he was reminded of the boat that gurgled
up to receive them. He remembered baiting the hook,
everything rocking between berth and harbor,
grandmother waving upon their return.
He thought of a blade, white with noon, slick with fish.
And all that precious heat.
© Jim Davis