with scrub on the hills behind me,
hammerheads, rumored, around me,
San Nicolas a day's kayak away,
if the book's to be believed. I dodged no buffalo
as I drove to the line-up in my friend's new car.
He waited nine years to get it. He lives alone.
Almost all the land on the island is a preserve.
The state fish is the garibaldi, on the island's
leeward-side a friend to tourists carrying bread.
They pass through liquid toward a goal,
as I do when I paddle, as a baby does
pre-first-swaddle, like a pathogen in the water
in the glass from the tap. A surfacing whale.
Its wet eye's gaze when up close by a castaway
is taken for kinship. Oh that it might be.