Offshore Winds

by Elizabeth Thorpe
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A sailboat with a crew of two, a childless couple who took us out with them sometimes, me and my brother, motoring out through fluorescent buoys and rowboats at rest, waiting for the lobstermen to make their way back across early morning, the wide spread of sunlight across flat calm like a glass tabletop in the type of store my parents didn’t like to let my brother go in. A kid who crashed, who kept his head down and rammed my shoulder, knocking me onto the dirt road on the way to the bus stop, on a morning I didn’t want to be awake, a morning when I would watch the way the sun fell into the woods—sun on leaves, then birch bark, boulder, moss—and wish I could follow it all day. Tracking light instead of seats on a bus, chalk on a board. Today we were on the ocean, weaving among moorings like I wove floss into bracelets that summer, one end pinned near the knee of my jeans, hands moving, calm despite my brother freewheeling around me. And for an hour he was calm too, leaning back on the deck, looking up at the sails.
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Elizabeth Thorpe is the author of “Cities” (Texture Press, 2016.) Creative work has appeared in such magazines as Painted Bride Quarterly, Press 1, the Maine Review, and many others. A professor at Drexel University, Thorpe has been a faculty member at the Port Townsend Writers’ Conference for over a decade, and does manuscript consulting work through Kahini.