We came to the island. We stayed in the house.
Rain and sun. Bougainvillea. Pink cedar.
How many shadows slipped along walls
or whetted the leaves of century plants?


We saw clouds from the windows. Far boats.
You left the bed and came back shaking.
Your mother, her white hair, or something
whose shape would never, at last, find you.


Night palms clattering like hungry bowls.
Crazy whistling of the island peepers.
We walked to the water. Walked back.
We walked to the water . . . walked back.

Copyright © 2017 David Baker. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Tin House, Winter 2017.