By Sue Goyette
The trick to building houses was making sure
they didn’t taste good. The ocean’s culinary taste
was growing more sophisticated and occasionally
its appetite was unwieldy. It ate boats and children,
the occasional shoe. Pants. A diamond ring.
Hammers. It ate promises and rants. It snatched up
names like peanuts. We had a squadron of cooks
specifically catering to its needs. They stirred vats
of sandals and sunglasses. They peppered their soups
with pebbles and house keys. Quarts of bottled song
were used to sweeten the brew. Discussions between
preschool children and the poets were added
for nutritional value. These cooks took turns pulling
the cart to the mouth of the harbour. It would take four
of them to shoulder the vat over, tipping the peeled
promises, the baked dreams into its mouth.
And then the ocean would be calm. It would sleep. Our mistake
was thinking we were making it happy.