fisherman? not what I think of when I think love, more like the smell of guts, or
wet boots. let’s say I met a fisherman from Ecuador and in three days I could
say something like I love you.
in Peru on the beach, so close to the equator, it all unraveled, over broken
coconuts mango skins cheap rum hangovers, he pointed out
birds to me, asked me if I knew why they were flying around in circles above
us, told me things only fishermen know.
in between sandy sheets, I asked him about the scars along
his shoulders where I lay my head,
and in the quiet of a room with only a mattress
and a toilet he told me how his younger brother died. how he didn’t. but there
was still this scar, like a burnt mountain or a big empty hole inside the earth,
inside the skin of him,
and I wanted to say – how beautiful, but instead I went to sleep and hoped that
the stars wouldn’t go out just because I had shut my eyes.
I kept changing my bus ticket to the next day, and then the next, because I
started to believe that home meant wanting to let someone grow things inside
of you. but what did I know?
except that petrichor is the name for the smell released into the air after a first
rain, and that certain mushrooms can only
grow in soil that has just been badly burned. I’d be happy if I was a fish,
he took me to the ocean to say farewell, because love shouldn’t be written in
stone, but in water, and I walked along the shore like a drunken peacock.
am I beginning now? I wanted to ask him, but
instead I waited for him to not kiss me goodbye, and watched as the hungry
circled above us
by Shideh Etaat