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In late summer

Kim Addonizio

Twilight: the last ferry leaves Vancouver

for the tiny islands.

Tsawwassen blinks out,

rows of bolted plastic chairs

and old vending machines

gone blurred, crossing over.

Sotto voce, a woman croons

under the water, her hair

spilling luminous and phosphorescent

across the depths. The drowned

love this hour, before the stars

are let down like bait to tempt them,

before the steam moans out

and the captain settles back for a smoke.

The others on the boat

talk, drink coffee, drift upstairs;

two lovers stand at the railing

for the sheer terror of feeling

something might happen.

A moment ago they were sure

they would die for each other.

Then the kiss ended -

she leaned a little away,

his arm fell, everyone

turned towards the islands

they knew were out there,

willing them to appear.


Magma No 11 (Winter 1997)