It is a rugged island of much beauty.
I've just arrived,
rumpled in the harbor bar.

Passing trucks, petrochemicals & other
convenient absurdities
lull the wretched mind to rest.

Midway through the fourth caffé
Caterina Zaccaroni
in a red dress

enters grandly.

Look! is always the first foreign word
I learn, listening to children
point their wonder.

Caterina's younger son has caught
a tiny crab he keeps

cupped & suffocating
until his father returns it
to the water. At lunch

the boy chokes on his tears.

I find fear easy
when it has a simple object, like the shark,
or the more relevant

sea urchin, which lodges
where rocks verge.
I don't mean to disturb you

with my hover of fear
& my sand-strewn belongings.
You too have traveled.

But you haven't met Caterina.