The waves were too much
But still we stayed
The island was shrinking
But still we stayed
The horizon seemed to be vanishing

There was an evacuation planned
But none of us left
The children’s grandmother
Who had delivered them all
And the spirit of the grandfather
Still with only the one arm even
In the afterlife
Could not leave
So we stayed

We all stayed and sang the song
As taught to us by the children

Please listen for it now
So you will know who we were
When we can no longer
Tell you what it is we know.

Lost Property

When I divorced I lost a lot of stuff
But not the kids

When the sun dipped below the ocean
The light flashed green

When the porch light blew out to ashy
Filament the stars burst open

When the AC eventually died the breeze
Came through the window

And when dad died and then mom
I waited and now I know about waiting

When the country went to shit
I had already left the country

None of it was mine but
For a little while

When the tide went out
It took a slipper

When the sun rose we left
Our beds and the dark behind

The past was a borrowed place
The present is too and the future

Is dark and bright and dark and
Bright and dark and bright and

Not mine and not ours but I’ve made
Sure we are together

I do not belong to anyone but
But the kids until whenever

And since ever since
Which is a turn of phrase

I’ve borrowed.


It was dark inside her, and cold.
Just when I began to dry, another
Gulped wave would soak my feet
And start the chill again.

But I was never hungry for fish
And her spout pulled the fresh
Air into the cabin of my keeping.
The echo of her ribs offered

My songs a richer level of hymn.
And so I stayed and grew pale
And slept and composed and this
Is how I became her voice

Narrating the end of us.

P.K. HARMON is the author of What Island, winner of the Serving House First Book Prize in Poetry from Fairleigh-Dickinson University. Harmon lives in Mangilao, Guam, with his two children. Recent poems can be found in Gesture Literary Review, Fogged Clarity, and Southeast Review, and are forthcoming in The Colorado Review.