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It was feast or famine. We licked that cow carcass clean to the bone. Sliding our tongues down every last splinter of spine til it was slick like glass. Our primal instincts brought us together, spooning heaps of stew into each other’s mouths until we almost gagged. But it was necessary. Satisfying, even. Not until we were finally full could we come to stillness.


We were given the largest schooner. The one with billowing sails, laced and layered upon each other. Carrying us forward in the gentle wind. Gliding through the warm waters. Spraying us with salty sea.

We slowed once to greet a friendly walrus poking its silky wet nose above the water’s cusp. It was then a gust of angry winds swooped in and lifted the bow high into the air. We heard the crack of walnut wood, our boat splitting in two, casting us into the sea.

I watched my father fall. Disappear into the dark waters. Our dismembered ship lay floating, scattered, and moving with the current. A tangled mass of splintered wood.

The Islanders learned of the accident almost immediately. They arrived in masses. Diligent arm ants on the call of duty. This was their beloved ship. We had sunk their best boat.

I was rescued by the graces of an Indian fisherman. Only he helped me into a water taxi because he believed I wouldn’t like the smell of dead cod fish sloshing around in his steel dory.

Tall and lanky, he released an exaggerated stretch as he climbed into the taxi that brought me safely into town, where everyone was talking about the Americans who sunk their best boat.

Their beloved schooner.

We were laughing and skipping stones down the stone staircase. As the rocks fell, they made a hollow sound. The next stone I threw was crimson red. In the shape of a heart. It cascaded down the staircase and landed in my shirt. The next stone was the same. This time it tumbled into his hands. We looked at each other and we knew.

You took me down to the edge of the water and we both looked out over the rocky shore. On the sand bar a speedboat was wedged above a bolder. You commented on the boat. I think you wanted one.

As we stood there, your chest was bare and your body was wet. There was a towel wrapped around your shoulders and I rubbed my hands over your back to dry you off. That’s when you confronted me. You asked me why everything had to be on my schedule.

I didn’t understand.
I didn’t know you were mad.
All I knew was that I loved you.