I hear but do not understand anymore English, my native language, spoken fast by two dozen merry men and women competing to be heard by the most. I watch them drink like the cruisers they are, back on land feeling steady and worthy of feeling good. Their syllables snapping away like pennants. They jam the yacht club’s small bar where I go to eat. There are islands of silence too—the turned-down hockey game plays on TV. By the front door, a pack-n-play holds new dolls, games, a tricycle, books for the less fortunate. I slip into the current of voices-all-at-once, into Being beyond understanding.

Roger Gilroy lives quietly on a tourist beach, with two silent cats, a daughter of few words and a Greek wife. He once drove a taxi in NYC while working as a volunteer contributor on Small Things Considered. He now writes poems to go.