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July 2019 Vol. 15 No. 2

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Diana Conces

First Taste of Maine

Fresh off the plane, tired (the kind of tired that blows into you at 30,000 feet from tiny, plastic jets, the kind that leaches out of your pores faster than a single plastic cup of Diet Coke can replenish you), we saw the lobster shack on the side of the road, blue paint peeling, fairy lights, picnic tables shaded in pine trees, mid-afternoon deserted. Lobster roll virgins, only two of us even liked seafood, but we ordered four plates: butter toasted rolls piled with soft bites of lobster, chips, pineapple coleslaw, soda. The girls’ noses scrunched at the briny crustacean sandwiches and bartering began: lobster for coleslaw, chips. I savored each buttery morsel, tender and delicate, feeling at last grounded in this new place more than when the plane touched tarmac, more than when I rolled the suitcase across the thick hotel carpet. We had arrived.

warm ocean breeze:
boats shimmy in their moorings,
festooned with gulls.