Saturday 15 June 2019

'The Last Surfers' by Caroljean Gavin

When she put her ear against the last surfer’s crotch, she heard the sea. Dolphins called to her, twisted their salty tails into a come-hither curl. Waves lapped her cheek. He was her token, her microcosm of ocean, so right there, right there in the car, she threw her skirt on the sand and chased the surf in him with the wonder of her deepest skin. A long, lonely, thirsty blue board shivered on the roof. 


“Knock, knock! Can I come in?” The last surfer’s words poured against her door. She felt the rush of them, barreling past the scorching sun, the leaden air, to a trickle against the whirl of her ear. 

She brushed her fingers over her swell. The little merman grew himself scale-by-scale, fin, finger, gill, and tail. Bobbing in the tank of her dark aquarium. She closed her eyes and saw through a glass belly, the evolution of his face, his tentacles of hair floating in her water. 

The last surfer knocked again. Cheerfully. “Knock, knock, my sweet wahine. Can I come in?”

“You’re as in as you can be,” she texted. She fell asleep with the phone in her hand. 


Little fry strapped to her breasts, she rides. The ghost of a crest breaks in her eyes, washing water to sandy shore, washing water over the evaporated sea floor, washing water to foam the toes of their other little guppies, the boy piling dry sand into a falling castle, the girl licking ancient sand dollar shards. 

The harvesters hunch, sacks hung from their shoulders, while they shuffle through white coral, crunch of crustacean, glimmer of fish bone, tangles of kelp rustling like October. They pinch and clinch through their clickety-clackety fingers for overlooked treasures, while she looks at her man, wet-suit half off, arm around his parched board, eyes sparkling, shaking sweat out of his hair, droplets catching the wind and spinning out way past the horizon.

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