Hawaiian Shirt

by Carolin Messier

Williamsphone 319

A rumpled Hawaiian shirt,
splashed with palm leaves and bamboo,
was well worn by a man
of quirky wit and wandering adventures.
I found it in the bottom of his closet,
fallen from its hanger
into a heap
as its owner had fallen from sanity
into despair.

It suited him, that shirt.
I realize more so now, than while he was alive.
They both came from a place
of constant temperatures and temperament;
gentle breezes, surrounded by the sea;
and swaying hula girls
on dashboards
sipping fruity, pineapple drinks
with umbrellas.

But beneath turquoise pools,
and a ready smile, lay a molten intensity
able to create earth
or to rip apart its own solidity of being.
The islands were his second home.
I wish him there now,
swimming at night
with sea turtles and manta rays.
Aloha, my love. Aloha.