Mosquito Lagoon

by Shawn Nacona Stroud
Desert Moon Review
Honorable Mention, October 2016
Judged by Richard Krawiec


For My Father

Sunset kindles water, metallic flames
furrow and ripple to shallows.

This inlet of plasma won’t ignite, the Haulover Canal
trickles and dies with little dashes
against our boat’s hull. All evening
fluid surfaces yearn to burn, complicated only
by occasional boat drone or manatee
materializing like a submarine
before ballast tank floods

into its next dive. The pelicans have survived.
A flock rises to flee molten waters; I watch
as they vanish westward over palm frond horizon
which scrims Cape Canaveral. Darkness
is not particular to surface side. A firmament of smoke
and ash now dims what’s below, and the moon—

she is my mother. She sluggishly rises, all
wide eyes and tight lipped smiles
tattoo her face of phosphorus. She’s always inadequate
here, father rattles and clatters inside his boat, produces
her dome-light replacements to spotlight the tide—
she is incapable of such brilliancy.

By midnight, shrimp flit past circles of illumination,
we splash our nets until dawn.



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