Laura Stringfellow, “Full Moon, St. Augustine”

Laura Stringfellow writes both verse and prose poetry, holds an MFA in creative writing, poetry, and hails from the very humid southern United States. Recent publications have appeared or are forthcoming in various journals, including Déraciné, Right Hand Pointing, and Nine Muses Poetry.

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Full Moon, St. Augustine

     Hundreds of lights reflect off a sea that refuses them. The water has its own house whose doors are open to few. The street lamps look docile and inviting, but this is the same bay where, four hundred years ago, a hundred French soldiers were massacred by the Spanish who agreed to spare them only if they were Catholic or if they were useful.

     I imagine them to be bones at the bottom, or long ago taken into the deep and made into excrement. Across the bay, tourists wait to drink from the Fountain of Youth in their hopes to confirm history. They admire what they find nostalgic—the strange life of the buildings, the sorrel walls of the infamous Fort Marion, still cold with the voices of the captured.

     Slowly, the tide recedes, exposing darker sand, clumps of shell and brown coral. Gulls step cautiously into the water. A porpoise jumps a half-compass. It seems that the sea circles under the tow the way birds do over landfills. The bridge rises, a jack knife that threatens those who disregard the bay. The moon hovers overhead with the illusion of stillness.





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