… a rock-like formation in the high part or cleft
that protrudes into the sea, near a coast …
—Definición De Etimología
The horizon is kerosene—It is my skin
Flayed to bone. It is a tangerine carrot
Separating day from night. This is the same
Water I prayed to as a girl before I understood
Privilege. There were my painted toenails,
The yellow house I grew up in, the sun
I watched plunge the sea. I am back again
To this vantage point where I live on a hill
In Baja, married to an ocean that contains
My father because this is where we fluttered
His ashes. This is where my mother collected
Oil slick skeletons and feathers for her paintings
After the Valdez spill. I can see aqua from
Every window. Even my lungs are 83 percent
Water. I put the overripe tomatoes on the stove
With a garlic clove drenching them in leftover
Merlot as I notice the ocean disappear again.
I live by its giant mirror. At night, the wind
Pours over my skin like silk scarves. At dawn,
Exhausted from lingering, I want more of it—
More of that breeze, and waves as I clocked them
Erasing my father, spilling his cinders like down
Feathers until he was nothing, yet made of sailboats
And the shimmering scales and pescados he caught—
The pleading fisheye, pouting shark mouth,
The sierra spines and blood that wallpapered his boat.
These days cruise ships flush their waste tanks
Twelve miles out, halfway between here and the horizon.
This is home—the kelp and current, the ballenas
And buried treasure, carcasses an inch below
The surface reminding me how little I know
Of living, reminding me of the distance between one
Emptiness and another, that it is too late
To die young. The calm tide, like fingers, thrums
The land, wafting pebble sized shells in jagged
Lines, the same shape as the scar on my right palm.
And all I want is to climb the old stone steps
To Hotel Finisterra where Hemingway drank whiskey
And soda on the rocks above this beach, where
My father made Os with his smoke. And every day
Waves hurry to beach themselves, to wash
The shore clean and leave behind what they must.
Cynthia Good, an award-winning author, journalist, and former TV news anchor, has written six books, including Vaccinating Your Child, which won the Georgia Author of the Year award. She has launched two magazines, Atlanta Woman and the nationally distributed PINK for women in business. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in various journals, including Awakenings, Cutthroat, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Main Street Rag, and Maudlin House Review, among others. Her new chapbook from Finishing Line Press will be published this summer.