Roberto passed a joint to me with sand ploughed fingers
in the jungles miles above Limon while the others
did headstands inside between sips of wine
and rum from the bottles. Nobody talked
to Roberto – he was so beautiful
he stole your voice.
I didn’t want to kiss him, I wanted
to memorize how he shook shells
as small as pinky nails from his dreads
and how his hip bones protruded like fins. My father
says that the ocean will swallow
me one day, he said. The woven hammock
chewed into my bare thighs while he perched
like a kingfisher on the porch rail
and told me how he worked
his father’s banana plantation every morning.
The smoke filled my head as he rocked
me gently, golden fist around hammock knots,
thick accent stumbling around foreign words
and all I could picture between his rolling r’s
was the sunrise
surfing ritual, pink slipping from sky.
How his chest was chiseled
stone from the breakers. How the saltwater rutted
into him, shining off his shoulders,
even when the waters let him go, even
when his feet thrust into old Nikes,
even when it was time to weave
between the bushes, slipping
plastic soda sacks over one
bunch after another.
~ Jessica Tyner
Jessica Tyner is from Oregon USA, a member of the Cherokee Nation, and has been a writer for ten years. She currently works as a travel writer with Yahoo!, the entertainment columnist for Hound the Press, and a contributing editor at New York’s Thalo Magazine. She has recently published short fiction in India’s Out of Print Magazine and poetry in Slow Trains Literary Journal, Straylight Magazine, Solo Press, and Glint Literary Journal. Her first novel has been picked up by Swift Publishing House. She enjoys teaching yoga and has a bad habit of collecting first editions.