I’ve Always Wanted to Travel

 

I’ve always wanted to travel to Crete

and the Ionian islands. Apparently

a common wish among those of us

with free time, frequent flyer miles

and disposable income. I hear

the dolmas are to die for.

 

At the bookstore I flip through several

coffee table books filled with the expected

illustrations. The moonlit ruins. Sirtaki

dancers, arm in arm. The dawn over

a calm Aegean shore. I imagine

my grandson playing at the surf’s edge.

 

At the cash register, a rack of magazines

displays photographs of a Mediterranean

beach at low tide. The sunlight skipping

across the nodding sea, so inviting

but for the body of the refugee child

at the tideline. The depression

 

left when they removed him held

a last bit of brine in the shallow

cup of the sand’s palm. And then

that too was gone, leaving only

the residue of salt like the chalk

line at the scene of the crime.

Published in the London Reader