Issue 13 | Winter 2013

The Green Flash

And on certain nights on palm-treed Cayman beaches,
the renters wander out at sunset among the scattered
chairs, the half-buried sandwich crusts, all the clatter
of the day gone, the babies glazed with sleep,

and all of us waiting for the sun to move. It’s thought
to sink into the water in a flash of green; we gather around
the few old men who’ve seen it, the kingfishers hovering
too, like disciples, aware that more often than not,

you can’t look at the sun head-on, like a lot of other things—
your brother’s anxious tics, say, or the war on TV. You wonder
what would change if you saw it, what would happen to you after;
whether part of you—like the soul of some marooned conch, clinging
to its sea-crusted shell—would suddenly lift off, shudder
free: rise up with the birds, toward some far empyrean rafter.

Filed under: Poetry