LET’S EAT ICE CREAM AND FLY A KITE!
— Scott Ferry
Velella: free-drifting hydrozoas that, under the whim
of the elements, may be beached by the thousands
It becomes a chorus; we all join in because so much
depends on this. Sorry, William Carlos, the wheelbarrow
sleeps and we sing! Because she is only six, because caramel
ice cream sandwiches adorn our hands, because grand drips of now
cascade from the opening sky, because there is wind.
We have a Hello Kitty kite that just might break
in the thirty-mile-an-hour gusts on Nehalem Beach, sea a crush of steel glass,
sand brailling into our shins. Molly unrolls the string all the way
and the plastic diamond goes up—nothing to wait for, no more caution,
no threat of Hades coming to snatch Leilani from these spring pastures
right in front of her mother! Really there is no limit to this, only this,
kite taut, streaking to the moon, Lani’s mouth a choir
jumping, arms interpreting straight skyward.
Until, as every short clip on Youtube, it ends, becomes prohibitive
to stay with gristle in the eyes, burns on the ankles. She hands the
pink handle to me, runs to the water past thousands of silvery
velella bodies cast on the beach. Carcasses of the many minutes
waiting for water and wind to bring