Here, the dawn is slow. The day is long.
Now the night’s come down around me and I’m laying on the cool deck with eyes wide to the too-brightness of the half moon
with the stars sprayed across the wide sky
showing constellations from both sides of the world
to the outsider floating here above the equator,
and I’m listening to the squelching lap of the ocean against two white hulls and hearing the bubble plops of big fish feeding in the night
while my eyes adjust to the darkness
and they begin to show the water
with its long banks of gentle ripples
and under the shining black surface, the pale negatives of fish and white tips and sea lions flowing and turning.
A pelican swoops over me to land on the rail
stands sentry over the sleeping hull
watching the shifting water like I do.
For days I am outside
breathing the wet air
tasting the sun and the moon in turn with every inch of my skin
watching Darwin’s strange creatures in their impossible landscapes.
I don’t understand this place
but I know this is my happiness, salt sticky and cool in the middle of the living night.