A Ghost in St. Augustine

I was born on a storm drain evening /
tide going out like a fever / the water level rising

more than keloid scarring / the humidity
a christening dress / the rattling of palm fronds

a rewinding cassette tape /
the wind brushing sound up the street.

in fourth grade we studied shipwrecks / & the ghosts
of St. Augustine’s castillo. / scuttled imposable history. /

a charter bus dropped us off outside / a congregation
of headstones / eroded by salted air / my foot hit

the earth / my eyes cleaved through a person /
a clear man in a fog / his form filled by the sea.

how much of Florida is in me? / I’m not saying
I couldn’t devour / a whole key lime pie blindfolded /

but there’s always something faintly metallic about it /
fork tines as railroad tracks / ghost trains in my peripheral. /

one day the sum of me / will be crumbling
coquina / havocked by tourists & time.

have you ever seen the back of a manatee /
white-scarred & shredded? / yet

/ they swim on.