by Esther Lin

–Balthus, 1940

A wave followed him home.
He knew because a limpet filled his palm
and his hair raised with rainbowfish.
He swam for days and days
and still believed he could broach
the human heart. On the ninth day
he broke the rind of surface and
was startled to see, standing on a ladder,
a girl, her face glimmed with salt,
reaching into a cherry tree for cherries.