Catch of the Day

Tara Deal

One drum of dark oil bubbles on the beach
and everyone loves to travel,
       even if it's only half a mile
       and in the middle of summer,
to run away, around

this sinking island
pocked with coral
and ruined by rum—
but who can resist it,
whatever the shack in the sand offers up
and you have to try it
before the rest of the world shows up
in the same boat
under the glass of the moon, half full,
sweating over
the crab traps, just a touch
of slappy music, far-off now,
some small talk, and listen, last call
so pay the man
before everyone leaves
their shells in the sand, and paper plates
feel lost, but forget it.
The stars slosh around while
the oil calms down
to a glisten, un-

congealed.


About the Author

Tara Deal is a writer and editor in New York City. She is the author of the poetry chapbook Wander Luster (Finishing Line Press), and Palms Are Not Trees After All (Texas Review Press), the winner of the 2007 Clay Reynolds Novella Prize. Her work has appeared in Alimentum, Blip, failbetter, Fogged Clarity, Sugar House Review, West Branch, Lowestoft Chronicle, and other magazines. Her shortest story can be found in Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer (Norton).