Amphibian
by Carol Alexander



I think you can remember though not my name
hot sun leaking oil, the bright new word amphibious
translatable as feet sinking into ooze
after rain had scoured the Sound

and the nimble minnows rose to the rim
of that great salt bowl,
its glint and foam a second land.

Your gladness as the jeep glided into the estuary,
polystyrene blocks reflecting light like ice,
chassis wedded
to the hulls

of your homemade Terrapin, your Landwasserschlepper,
the shouts of children begging for a ride--

we're joined in common memory, little girls and boys
stunned by the impossible, half-heaven, half-nightmare,
lobster trawlers
waving caps, clammers paused mid-stoop.

It's simple how a mood falls, blushing to the west.
The adult bib
and lone chair, gold fading on cool grass,
summer's fervid inventions
strummed on every blade.

Uncrate the wild fluster, eely chain pickerel darting weed-wise,
coil of hairy rope,
crags fouled by tunicates, the craft's nose
angled toward
Connecticut, a sullen iodine breeze.

That day, all gabble and dive, tenderness of a man's hands
blistered and stained
by gasoline; in the launch of the amphibian
we kicked through
dark bilgewater, blithe as new-sprung frogs.








Illya's Honey Literary Journal

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