—a poem by James Freitas


They are shadows
surveying my feet.

My tiny toes curl into the wet
sand of the shallows.
I am silent—stealthily stalking.
My young imagination dashes
and scurries. Like the shellfish I shuffle after.

“Look, I’m a giant!”

My soft shoeless feet pound
the seafloor, sand erupts around my ankles. I plod
onward, terrorizing the seas,
leaving wistful whirlpools in my wake.
Wading until my waist is wetted by waveless waters,
washy ripples rub against my taught, tan, stomach
while my tawny eyes are stung
by the titillation of a salted breeze.

Katama’s skies are clouded: cumulus and comely. Alluring as ever—
azure as they were when I first came here:
a cumbersome bump in my mother’s belly.

I hold the net still.
Grip the woodgrain glazed by grey sand, grinding
into the round red cedar
rubbed smooth by my gritty grasping.
A shadow grows bold—it approaches the mesh.
The metal ring is a portal
to a netted death.

A quick flick to catch the blue crab.

A shining cerulean shell brought ashore
Filled with sweet meat, fresh. I wait
to dip, as the butter melts
in a corroded saucepan heated over charcoal.

A sparkle in my eye removes the sting of salt.
I savor the tender claws.

I still savor them.

The Poet: James Freitas resides in rural Massachusetts, spending equal amounts of time between Newburyport and Martha's Vineyard. His work has been featured in the Santa Clara Review and is forthcoming in Crab Fat.

The Artist: Faun is a digital artist/photographer born and raised in Vancouver, WA. The constant weather changes of the Pacific Northwest bring her plenty of opportunity to capture landscapes, action shots, and abstract photographs. Faun's been published in multiple journals - The Phoenix and Salmon Creek Journal - and included in a student art show at Clark College. You can see more of her work at http://faunscurlock.com/