it is not so much where we are but when
tarpon springs, florida, dodecanese street
where we can watch manatees swim sometimes
in that dark water, across the sidewalk from our table that tips,
air spiked with greek shouted from the kitchen
over the clash of pot lids like cymbals.
you and i eat snapper before it was overfished
and i wonder how someone can cook fish
and leave the eyes, roasted and unseeing
but still seeming to accuse us, its consumers,
the eaters of flesh so prettily called psari plaki
heavy with olive oil and tomato, but we are still
murderers, the baked eyes and scales insist
through lemon juice and basil. here the pelicans
are insolent and perch on the railing
and watch us eat too, sideways
as cardboard signs on the patio
tells us in urgent scrawls to not feed the birds.
still, one dares us to do it, watching one-eyed like the fish
he can tell we eat what he eats and I would share
but pelicans don’t share, they bite
so we shoo him away. sometimes
we are too close, reminded by fish eyes
and pelican stares that we are not so far off
from hunting and gathering.
***the prompt today at Octpowrimo is a place, so I took you to Tarpon Springs with me.