Six days fleeing from your scars of wood carvings, bargaining chatter, the conquest of ship stacks - through noons unfolding bolts of brocade light, nights lined with velvet, riches for all your poor.

Then on to crescendo of waterfalls, scarlet flames of bromeliads, hibiscus, bamboo the width of a fist.

Once our scouring headlights painted an Islander: naked, dangling penis and leg-stump, one-foot-hopping alongside the one street of the village. Once at the market, a black woman’s lips taught us sugar cane suckling; men’s eyes, how to finger her huge red-polyester-wrapped buttocks.

People spoke pebbles and raindrops, monsoon syllables. Swells of reggae - harbored by hills, fern-feathered, blaring from stacked mammoth speakers at roadsides - swept over blue coves, blue-mist- shrouded mountains, the lignum vitae’s blue blooms.

Days opened verdant and sonorous spilling their bounty asking for nothing. Flamboyant flashes of winged wizardry pierced the languorous air. The rain forest ran down all the way to the sea to quench its unquenchable thirst.

Our raft drifted through summer’s barbarous shrine - chorus of incense, wild ginger tapers, heaven-high vaults - eternally open for worship.

Under its extravagant canopy the jungle flaunted its tricks: a ficus’s air-roots were strangling their host, orchids blushed 200 ways; a hand could get lost 20 times in a leaf’s wild embrace.

For millions of years orange Gorgonians guarded the reef. The swamp guarded crocodile dreams. Sea grapes sheltered the cove where the moon left his name.

The peace-loving Arawaks were protected by walls of museums. We could sail into a faraway memory: A giant cross approaching the land over the water, and all your Gods shuddering.

Under the mango tree’s pungent shadow we praised truant breezes, noons fanned by butterfly wings, conquest of bougainvillea and palm. We listened to the sea’s endless epic. Believed all of time’s lies.

On steamy nights we lay drugged by your dragons of surf. Stars unlocked with gold keys sunken memories’ chests.

The Evansville Review