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October 2018, vol 14 no 3

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Jo Balistreri

Riffing on Waves

The day, white with heat, is stalled like early morning traffic. Seated at an outdoor table, my husband and I have quarreled. In front of us toasted blueberry scones and fresh pineapple lie untouched. Mullet jump, and sea birds dive but we remain unfazed. Nothing erases the sting of his words.

After a while, a crowd gathers. A strange and magnificent frigate bird with an enormous black wingspan glides in widening loops. It cruises low, skims the water and scoops up dinner in one elegant swoop. With the fish in its beak, it turns with a grace that defies its size. We watch until it becomes nothing more than a speck in the sky.

the fountain
shattering light…
distant bells

We look at each other, our mean words dropped as if the frigate bird had plucked them from the air and discarded them somewhere beyond reach, somewhere far out to sea.


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