The Sea Tastes Better Than the Lake
After the watermelon is sliced open,
I turn my face away from steamy rainfalls,
green sodden hills and striking
orange slims of papaya.
I remember the mudslide
carried our house out to sea, & the machete
my father carried when he walked
the garden at night,
because what is anything you love
without its sharp tooth?
But I’m tired of floating between
worlds of memory and dreaming
I am a building on
Michigan Avenue growing
a knowing of this place and this people
like it’s my own wet tongue.
After I am handed a wedge
I press flat the corners in my shoulders,
roll my eyes forward,
nostrils giving up salty ocean,
someone’s dog has peed in our
My back sticks to this plastic
chair, and there are my feet,
a slash of sunlight pouring over them.
my mouth with watermelon,
stickying my hands with its juice.
I look, at the lake. I will not
say how much better the sea
is than the lake, how much
better it smells and tastes,
how blue it is, bluer,
such a beautiful, unblinking
Catherine Cowie is a 2017 Callaloo Writing Workshop graduate. Currently, she is an MFA Candidate at Pacific University. Originally from St. Lucia, Catherine now resides in Wisconsin. Her work has been published in Rock & Sling, Public Pool, Bird’s Thumb and Forklift Ohio.