January 2003 / Volume Four / Issue One
Larry D. Griffin
JANE'S ISLAND

"No [wo]man is an island."

Jane lies the length of the chaise lounge in her bikini and says,

I'm hanging out on my mostly sunny little beach.
No doubt on my mostly sunny little island.
I'm resting my eyes by locking on the horizon.
I spot a couple of ships now and again.
I imagine one might be coming my way.
Why think much about it without knowing the direction?
Sometimes I head offshore with mask and fins
(I get to look at that incredible dappled underwater light.).
I take junkets in floppy little non-seaworthy craft
with a native whose language I understand dimly.
Mostly I stay put and explore the territory,
Galapagos-like, if you ask me. I love correspondence.
I must make some sense of the bottled notes I receive.
I must know whether my island sits/fits in the scheme of things.
Hmm. Think it's a shifting plate? Maybe it's hardly an island.

I bring Jane a cold bottled water, sit on the edge of her chair,
lean forward, look down into the depth of her dark eyes and say,

I am with you there on your beach. I am your beach here.
(Where you are, even only in memory, the sun always shines.)
If I am your horizon, I rise to you and never fade.
I see the ships coming your way, but I also set
depth charges for enemy submarines you ignore.
I am one of the boats bringing with me my own portable storm.
I once again leave my West and travel toward your Est.
I long to be the sea that laves your body when you dive.
Do you see reflections of me in the glass of your mask?
When you board my dangerous little dinghy, you

neither recognize me in my native disguise nor
fully translate my glossolalia except as incoherent babble.
I become the territory you explore, your Tierra del Fuego.
I correspond with love. Each day I release dozens
of bottled notes, many illisible and all addressed to you.
Placing you in situ, my function as always is to
accommodate your fit to the world. Tectonically,
the plates shift, two islands come together forming one,
where all is told and where there is no atoll at all.
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