or the errant locks of hair of a 
man standing with the sun behind

by Melissa E. Jordan

Swim against it -- fins, teeth, scent --
Pace volcanic black.
Seek the rumored mailbox in
     the furthest mangrove stand.
Nudge aside tortoises lumbering giantly;
Take up the tea-colored scroll, the
     feathered pen.
 Etch a message to all buccaneers
          in your wake.

Stay in keeps of Connemaran cast.

Wring stories from each innkeeper
     until final ember and staircase climb.
Keep close the pewter chamberstick.
Trace shapes moving in human,
     inhuman form against stone walls.
Gallop to land’s end at first light,
Scan the sea breaking, cliffside fathoms

Drive him down a blue highway,
     giddy on hunger and moonlight.
Abandon asphalt for dirt
     and the copper-topped roadhouse.
Drink beer to sting your throats,
Shatter chicken between your thumbs.
Spot the new road from a
     single gingham window.

Remember his hands on the wheel.
Trod the soft ground of bluegrass heaven,
     borne by seven fiddles.
Dent your cheek against strange
     shirtfront rivets.
Suspend your sandals
     from the tip of one finger;
Let go.

Peddle red sandstone lanes in maritime.
Follow the wood-silver tunnel to the
     sea trail turning, beech unto beach.
Fling self and bike down forbidden dunes;
Stretch across a blood orange slab cantilevering
     the cove.
Brick post office: Sending your due to those who know (all too well) your whereabouts.

Tollbooth: Braked against a single steel arm, squinting at the ghostly changemaker behind flyspecked windows.

Blacktop lot: Your only companion the red and white bucket, spotted and spreading with grease.

Auto shop counter: Hearing, as if through a pinhole, a distant radio.

Chin in hand you watch, with perfect concentration, the  drag-dance of crabs.