tourist attractions in key west
by Madeline Torrez
i. reef snorkel & sail adventure excursion package
duvets of sea slip over
your feet in the peculiar shade of sky
as dictated by sun and moon.
you see sand three fathoms down,
fish shimmy like silk scarves,
like the silver cobs arrested
in the elbows and knees of ancient coral.
you tell yourself curses drown in the current;
ii. southernmost point and higgs memorial beach
so, you carve crucifix and ceramic
from the boneyard reef,
strangle your hands with loops of gold,
and twine, and iron and
claw yourself an escape to the surface.
you lay your treasure at the feet of ghost-
rot wood and hurricane sheared sails;
count up abandoned shells, lizard-shed
skins, chicken feathers,
and all matter of island debris.
then, at foghorn blast,
iii. historic downtown walking tour
you pick up your towel and shovel it
into your bag with your coins
and your plates and your shells and your limes
and flip-flop smack your way back
past the empty history museum,
and the aquarium with the peeling paint,
and the colony of polydactyl cats stretched out
in the caches of shade along the path
one blast more, a warning—
the city drains, droves of sunburned
and sand-dusted cruisers swarm
the pier with their overfilled bags and
their damp towels, and
their glossy postcards, and
their kitschy t-shirts.
scuttle up the gangway—
like gulls from the shore— into
the steel atlantis that stole the island
and swallowed it whole.