King Tide Twilight

King Tide Twilight

by Elizabeth Kate Switaj

you carried my bubu across the road
it was only 30 yards
but my grandma’s skin is sharp, her bones too soft
to lift her birdweight from you
you stood behind her while I took her side
we watched each wave expand the foam and clear
expanse that soon turned murky
as you always were
smoking outside the school fence

only we three stayed silent
all others said again, again this must be it
some its were highest tide tonight
some its were living on this island as the sea takes . . .

and every silent breath we touched without skin meeting
like the sun goes down to never burn
our seawall of tires and broken roots

and if I tell you, all of this will go away
knowing you, the coral, the breadfruit, this corrugated roof
this is the story she told me, teacher, I told him this
it’s why I’m late

“Entangled in the Wind’s Greeting” by Bill Wolak