Riffing on Waves
by Mary Jo Balistreri

The day, white with heat, stalls like early morning traffic. Seated at an outdoor table, my husband and I have quarreled. In front of us toasted blueberry scones and fresh pineapple lie untouched. Mullet jump, and sea birds dive but we remain unfazed. Nothing erases the sting of his words.

his overbearing stance
her enthusiasm

After a while, a crowd gathers. A strange and magnificent frigatebird, with an enormous black wingspan, glides in widening loops. It cruises low, skims the water, and scoops up dinner in one elegant swoop. With the fish in its beak, it turns with a grace that defies its size. We watch until it becomes nothing more than a speck in the sky.

the fountain
shattering light …
distant bells

We look at each other, our mean words dropped as if the frigatebird had plucked them from the air and discarded them somewhere beyond reach, somewhere far out to sea.


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