Saturday, January 1, 2011

They Will Take My Island

by Chris Hutchinson

After a thread of milky light splits his mother’s abdomen, there is no one on the island to address. Lichens ice his toes. His solar-plexus writhes, a pinwheel twined with serpents. Only a reflection attends his grief—that marshy countenance which beguiles the mooncalf with wavering. So words, he thinks, do no more than just appear, and their images are merely place holders for the senses. But how else will he invent a world, or provoke his erudite, self-affronting host? Let’s say the ocean mingles with the shore, sidles up, flashing the silver of its thighs. Let’s say all metaphors are lies—a cross between the apotheosis of desire, and the starved mind’s sharpest trick. He imagines vast rolling swells, and a galleon fleet, masts slow-motion scrawling ciphers on the sky’s frayed parchment. Is he a sorcerer now, or has he been too long alone? Poor Caliban. Hagseed. Enter the castaways, staggering dumbly ashore, streams of saltwater gushing from their throats.