Island Aubade

by Emily A. Benton

With skin chalked by salt
tossed in a history’s making,

I tottered across the shore
collecting pumiced stones

and searched for fossils,
myna feather, and coins.

You do not have to imagine it—
your isle also red and sulfurous.

An archipelago apart, you slept,
the morning not yet morning in our bed.

Ships came and went,
but you did not hear them

lowing their slow apologies.
I’m sorry I was such a poet

about what has existed long before me.
I grew up wooded, landlocked,

wishing on pebbles skipped.
Your home found its breath

on a lava rock’s porous lips.
But O, how these whitewashed villas

embrace me like a reflection!
What a strange union we’ll make.

 

Emily A. Benton is an assistant poetry editor for storySouth.com and a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at UNC Greensboro. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in journals such as Hayden’s Ferry Review, Harpur Palate, Barn Owl Review, Yemassee, and Southern Poetry Review. Originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee, she moved to Pahoa, Hawai`i in 2012. She now lives and works in Honolulu.

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