Turquoise Syndrome

The following poem was written in response to the people, places, creatures, and legends I encountered in the Exuma cays in April 2017.

Turquoise Syndrome

Where voltage runs high and clocks run faster

Where bait is debatable, exchangeable, and expendable

Where women cast themselves on the men who troll

Where the unbreakable slender casuarina burns breathlessly

Where fidelity flows with the tides and ripples go unnoticed

Where people wait in liminal pools and drown in beauty

Where the most buoyant waters can’t keep a heavy heart afloat

Where sharks drink the blood of virgins and pigs eat the flesh of corpses

Where frozen mermaids play hollow Keatsian chords

Where fishing lines tangle and bound hair is cut free from garnets

Where sisters fruitlessly chase elusive captains

Where 100 unknown lovers’ presence laps the shore

Where we don’t keep count until we lose track

Where fences divide but hide nothing and docks bridge distance

Where possession is sought in place of permission

Where we uncontrollably rise and fall as unreachable islands

Where depth shifts and seductively slips through fingers

Where letting go means sinking sans savior

Where lips nibble salty necks and sacred dreams are swallowed

Where being inhaled means you too will be exhaled

Where turquoise seeps into crevices of an unwringable memory

Where the ravished conch whispers a lulling call to return


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