the water was blue, bluer than the eternal stretch of the sky. blue is too tame of a word, because the ocean, the sea, the breeze, the sting rays swimming underneath gentle, rolling waves, is alive. each step is precarious because each step brings you closer to the mouth of God. the wind tickles you. tickles in every way. beneath your clothes, tickles a sneeze to your nose, reminds you of when you were a child and convinced yourself you could fly. the sun was my lover and yet also my downfall. the Icarus that drifted too close and fell so swiftly, i kissed the sun unhurriedly, fully knowing the slap that would stain my skin in various splotches of red. my skin is darker than honey now. i am a dash of cinnamon and milk in your coffee. i smell like the islands now. i am one with the earth, i taste of coconuts and the splash of rum that brings a dizzy smile to your eyes. i carry secrets in my feet; i dance in abandon to expel my guilt. the birds scream here. no songs graces my throat, i trip as i follow a bird of paradise; wings of the Caribbean, may your flightless feathers take hold of my heart. i met a boy whose eyes were sadder than mine. he was younger than me but his breath stank of cigar smoke even when his lungs spoke of tired nights and dreamless eyes. his stomach is hungry for dreams yet the turn of the clock imprisions him. fans wave at me when i swim by, leaves tumble and spin when the rum begins to coat my throat like water; replenish me, mi amor before i turn in for bed. will you give me more than what your island steals? the sand is beholden to the sea, the moon, the way the trees dip and shake. a jungle that drenches itself in sticky raindrops and follows along to music that never seems to stop, may paradise open its doors to me once more.