But first they drove to the coast where the air was
centrifugal, pulled into a motel where Junior
chased sea gulls in the parking lot. Later on, down by
the jetty, while Marge read in the sand (“angels
green and rough as crabs”) and Junior buried Big Joe,
Big Joe dreamed a paint-by-number: ivory black crow
on a burnt umber bough, cadmium green fingers of ivy,
fragrance of oils. Where the rocks arrange themselves
by love or fear of water, Big Joe tested the law of
unintended gravity. He wasn’t hurt bad, just the wind
knocked out of him. That night, they listened to the ocean
drain from earshot. Junior said it sounded like traffic.
In the morning, someone from Honduras stripped
the beds, fluffed their indentations from the pillows.
There were dust motes, blades of sunlight. Free
continental breakfast when they checked out early.