Pensacola, Florida

We had no Circe to caution us,

no sailors to bind us to a mast,  

when we saw a flash of a rising white cap,

we headed down the gravel path.

Like a southern mistress, the Gulf sashayed,

threw sprays of kisses,

whispered, winked,

I have all that she has

salt, sand, the seagulls’ caws

Weathered and spent,

we unfolded our map

—from here to the sea 500 miles—

couldn’t we maybe just call it a day.

We hemmed and hawed

while the Gulf pressed on

lulling us with her soothing cliché,

it’s the journey not the finish

as if this refrain could reel us in

make us believe the means is the end.