in his kayak built for two, but without me, heading south
for the horizon. I saw him this morning on the upper deck,
carefully measuring the distance between his thumb
and forefinger, right hand. Left eye squinted shut. Half an inch,
I heard him say, matter-of-factly. Not at all surprised
how close it was and how far it seemed. For the record,
I’m glad he went alone, this time. His fascination
with reaching the horizon is something I no longer share.
The first dozen attempts were OK. But were not a life changing
experience. Not worthy of a bucket. But still worth doing.
Having done it, I fail to see the urgency. The point. It’s always there.
Waiting for you. Calling out. Urging you to come for a visit,
if only a short one. And once you get there, there’s no welcome
mat out, no hot meal waiting, not even a slap on the back. In fact,
Mr. Horizon is never home. He’s always just gone. Left for a visit
with a sick coastline or touring one of the polar regions.
He’s the most inhospitable neighbor I’ve ever not met or not known.
I can’t see the Why anymore. I’m all out. When my man returns,
and return he always does, in his salt-encrusted, guano flecked kayak,
his hold full of pelican bones and feathers – he says they bring him
luck and ballast – when he does paddle up to the dock and hoist himself
from his hole, I will be there with a power-washer set to remove
barnacles. But not flesh. And what we will do afterwards, in the privacy
of our oak-paneled master bedroom, is none of your damned business.