Patty Nash


"Here is my buffer of goodwill.
Here I am blurrily oh
my gosh don't
             I love adventure. Dolphins

etc. Here I look good thanks
to the intrepid, friendly
guide who zoomed
             in and took the picture beaming back

we are holding in our hands right
now. All my friends from all across
the United States’ve gathered here today
             to pamper, explore, relax, exalt,

et al., altogether, all together, all right
here at this destination
wedding 'til
                the formality begins at 5 p.m.

sharp tonight. Take this waterbottle. Take this
cut fresh fruit. Look
at the polkadot gratuitous

compressed in the infinity
pool, swallowing
coconuts filled
             with 'tropical' 'flavors' somewhere off

in the distance—like always
—the pics won't do the bliss
justice—like picture
             my father, the photographer, ha ha fumbling

cellphone into camera
mode, clamoring
from sinkhole to the manmade
             wooden jetty, so ineptly such

that taking
the photo, the flash
overexposed—digital image not fully self-
             stabilized—now we only

see the fuzzy turquoise backdrop
into which I'm telling you
right now I
               swam googlyeyed right

into a primordial crypt, duly kept
deeper, over-and-under
             -whelmed with water—reader, watcher, envision

me, floundering
to the faraway snorkeling
             bellyflopped eliciting zero shock at the

sound of water
I made evincing
          my foot against

subsurface rock in shadow
subsiding intruders like me to make
bleed. Please
             take my body indulging

the water blurring
with red
I incur in this
            venue locating this

body, collapsed. Take the fact that nobody
knows how this landmark was
made—only how
             it elapsed—

in 'bad weather'
—millennia of it—that what makes this
             geomorphological lookout oh

my god so amazing also renders it nigh
-impossible to remain
as-is at length—
             though beyond this facet—further information—sorry,

I lack
—as right at that
imperative moment
             in the tour, other tourists

in our midst unfiltered in
with questions, with regard
to the 'paranormal,' and so
             intrusively, that though

there's so much I still
would like to know, this's all that
I can say:
                 I hobbled out and warped

my foot in ragged towel in the glare
of daylight—today
I've just a little welt marking where
             I remember the location close

to that nearby wherever
it was my father failed to hear me
splash—who snapped
             this pic in which I am not at

present visible—though in it, I promise
that me is smiling
wide, regardless. I like it better
             than all the others. Are you feeling squeamish

said the guide, handing me a puckered plastic
brownbag sandwich, juice,
packaged pastry, minutes later,
             I came to know him meaning queasy—listen,

I'm telling you:
I said no thank you. I feel fine.
I remember this all
             too well."