A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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March 2008, vol 4 no 1

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Ross Clark


Not Expelled from Paradise, No Way

the second day of the honeymoon at Surfers is sunny & windy. the surf’s up. Michiko has a great new bikini, & not too much gut shows over Jake’s red speedos.  expensive sandals & shades, large fluffy beach-towels with his logo on them, her little bag. he wants everyone to admire her, know him successful.

his thick grey bouffant
     her fall of black
          to white straps

they sit & perform the sunscreen onto each other, then run to the surf. Michiko gets wet, giggles, goes further in, keeps her hair dry. Jake plunges in, decades on from patrols, an alpha seal in the breakers. this is living. looks back too long to find Michiko, is caught by a swell & a foamer, concussed & cut on sand, disoriented & swirling & then floating. in a moment two young men turn him, wave to the shore, steady him till the lifesavers bring a board. he recovers quickly, shamed. Michiko flutters & sobs, salty tracks on her cheeks. thanks & a donation to the club.

         rescued from the foamy surf
     so tonight
a magnum of champagne