I am in the dinghy, rowing away from you. I have my cigarettes and my lighter. It is night, and I am swallowed up in it. I feel the force of the sea and its swelling under me, the water sloshing in the boat about my bare feet. My arms pull, fueled by fury. I watch the palm shadows wave at me from the moonless shore. Tonight, we drank rum with the couple from The Sharon. They were from England and as drunk as we were. You were quiet, sifting the sand through your hands. I could not ask you, What? I was too afraid to hear it.
We are on Tobago, in the Lesser Antilles. Your boat, The Pearl is anchored off of Charlotteville, and we have been here for two days. I know very little about sailing, so in bad weather I was told to stay under, a nuisance. We met in a bar in New Haven, and I had a look, you said, that made you weak. That was all you would say when I asked why you wanted me. Oh Darling, you said. Let’s not worry. We stopped and stayed in anchorages you know, Castara Bay and Parlatuvier, bought food from Miss Esmé in the little shack—crab and dumplings, Bake and Fish. Her arms were round and black, her palms soft as she took my hand to say hello, smiling at me, her brown eyes keen. You dove most days with your friends. I stayed on the beach, or on The Pearl, reading, thinking about you returning.