San Destin, Florida

It’s a beach scene: the sand scabbed with pinwheel
            umbrellas, people, littered towels. I’m parasailing

three hundred feet behind a neon yellow boat just
            offshore. From above, a shadow looks just like you

standing up. But I’m too far away to tell. Your
            could-be shadow isn’t moving because I’m moving,

which throws everything else off-kilter. I want
            it to be you, know that one of them has to be yours,—

the place on the shore I had tried earlier to mentally peg
            so I wouldn’t forget: here is where she is and will be,

when you pass don’t forget to wave
. But that was then,
            and I am up here now. There’s a rope tethered to the harness

around my waist, yellow ratchet straps pulled tight,
            tied off. I’ve got thirty minutes up here, that’s all I paid

for, and I’ve already wasted ten of them trying to
            decide which shadow is your shadow. I should be

enjoying the view: the snow the boat cuts into the surf,
            the green water lapping up the shoreline, the movement

of the ocean so slow its surface could pass for
            wrinkled skin. I only have fifteen minutes left.

I have my hands around a bundle of ropes that lead
            like nerves up to the wings. I want to call out to the you

that isn’t you down below. I have your name
            in my mouth but don’t know what to do with it.


William Fargason’s poetry has appeared in New England Review, Barrow Street, Indiana Review, The Baltimore Review, New Orleans Review, and elsewhere. He earned a MFA in poetry from the University of Maryland. He is currently a PhD candidate at Florida State University. He lives with himself in Tallahassee, Florida.