Ivan (2004)

          by Alexandra Stasiuk

He hath founded it upon the seas and established it upon the floods.
            - Psalm 24:2

My parents and another couple sat
beneath our thatch roofed porch, pinkish
lanterns and coral vine woven in above,
eating amidst night-heat, tiki torches, wave songs.

The food was cooked on the single gas stove.
Risotto with sautéed spinach, steak, coloured
potatoes, and a store-bought pumpkin pie for dessert,
a luxury for the month. The wine was the same
I found washed against the patio.

They were clumsy
with their plastic cutlery,
and there was no talk of before,
only of after.

Have you been to the
grocers? They are only
allowing fifty people in at
once. The line wraps the block.
No milk. Our friend promised
to send a generator.

A clink and clang of looters in the
remains of a neighbor’s house.

My mother mumbled. The curfew.
The couple patted the napkins to
their chins. Rinse the dishes in the ocean.