"This is not a book to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force." - Dorothy Parker

Sailing to Culebra

I have sailed the seas, and come to the holy city of Culebra

soft rain tapping our cheeks,

my father swigged Bacardi

gold Reserve for the belly,

his gnarled hand was on the helm

and the other holding his liquor,

with every rotating wave and thrust

we moved and watched,

Puerto Rico getting smaller

My father swiftly gripped the lines and swung the sail enough to still the wind

and dropped the anchor down and down

into clear, and gentle water

papayas, plantains, and yampees

were hanging and waiting

for what I couldn't say

but knew it was meant to be

with beach grains as thin as flower

and wind as warm and soft as cotton

This is how I saw him: bathing in sun light, brown as an almond

we moved gently around him

into the island's center, where

we stayed in doorless blue huts,

cut and gutted fish and fruit.

thin as a curtain, I bent with each

breeze, teetering between palm trees

sun taming the glow of my pale skin

sixteen, hungry, and trembling

At midnight I moved to the sounds of Spanish guitars and shakers

where bathing suits, bare feet and barbeques

met and melted beneath the moon

illuminating every rugged and ruddy face

tearing meat from the bone with my teeth

gripping warm sand with my toes

unraveling the band from my hair

pressing further in with my heels

feeling the heat of the night for the first time

Elizabeth Dosta