Published September 1st, 2023
by Jerrice J. Baptiste
(Kingston, New York, United States)
They ignore the heat and travel by taxi to the cabana. On their way, the friends in white spaghetti strapless dresses stop in a fishing village. They walk past shabby colorful houses, the homes of fishermen who began fishing at sunrise.
The taxi driver introduces the young women as curious tourists to the fishermen who greet them. "Welcome!" The fishermen pick up their lines and show their fish hanging. They laugh at their luck. Others have begun marinating with lemon and sea salt, grilling their catch of the day at noon. A family invites the young women for lunch at their outdoor rustic wooden table, in the shade. They take off their wide brim sun hats, as a black and white cat weaves in and out between their ankles. She charms the women with her dancing tail.
"Here we eat with our fingers," says one fisherman. His dark cacao eyes dance with joy. The two women walk with sandals on a dirt path and wash their hands in the river behind a row of rainbow houses. When they return, grilled fish is served to each person. Fingers remove fine bones, as they eat flesh, white carcasses become visible. The two women devour their fish but there was one thing shimmering periwinkle, left uneaten on their plate.
The voice of the fisherman at the head of the table says, "Here we eat the fish eyes, too."
Jerrice J. Baptiste is an author of eight books and a poet in residence at the Prattsville Art Center & Residency in NY. She is extensively published in journals and magazines such as Artemis Journal, The Yale Review, Mantis, The Banyan Review, The Caribbean, and many others. She was nominated as Best of The Net in 2022 by Blue Stem.
Previously published in Phoenix Photo and Fiction:
Secret of the Red Rose
by Emilija Veljković
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