salt and stone and pieces
of driftwood he found carved with
hearts and letters of teenage boys'
and girls' names. he was
more than his chicken leg bones and
sagging skin, and the neighborhood
kids thought he was the
ghost of ol' samson, but he was just
ninety-eight and pushing it.
jonah was a man who liked
to wear his mother's curtains as clothes
and used moth-eaten tablecloths
as blankets during the chilly nights.
he had this kind of gleam in his
old, dull gray eyes. he thought he'd
build himself a boat and
set it on the ocean and maybe he would
find someone out there.
jonah didn't quite know who he was, yet.
the neighborhood wives that
brought him home-cooked dishes in big
pans to eat always told him
that he was no longer sane.
but jonah said that sometimes
sanity had less to do with the mind and
more to do with the people.
and on a warm tuesday,
he draped his mother's old tablecloth
around his shoulders and
bundled up in a curtain, left his waterlogged
shoes on the beach, and set sail.
they found jonah's body
washed up on a bed of rocks, the stark white
of the hole-covered tablecloth bloody