Submitted Date 05/14/2019

Leaving The Island
Age 20, Deya, Majorca, Spain, 1965
Majorca is an island, shrouded in myth, between Spain and Italy.
The Spanish for this place is Deia, Mallorca but I have chosen to use the Anglicized spelling,

I had been staying with the mother of a close friend, but suddenly things changed.

Intuition is the supra-logic that cuts out all the routine processes of thought and leaps straight from the problem to the answer.
~ Robert Graves ~ (English poet and authority on Greek and Roman mythology)
(who lived in Deya, Majorca from the 1920s until his death in 1985)

On the island of Majorca, I became the target
of my college roommate's mother -
too young to understand her illness
I only knew that she, Bella, was picking on me
as I had seen her bully others

so I bought the cheapest boat ticket to the mainland
which meant sleeping on the deck overnight

at the ferry's bow
I watched the ship back away
from the city of Palma
into the Mediterranean --
no ripples on the water
long sharp lights
mirrored in the twilight

I hated leaving Bella,
I had wanted us to be good friends

my stomach pulled tight
as the city grew smaller
and I felt a rope inside me
stretch to the point of breaking

then like a gift
the line snapped
and I was filled with
a different deeper sadness:
she was only the first
of many I would have to leave

it was a warning that prepared me

I looked up
as the darkness fell from blue to black -
and saw a silhouette
of the island's mountains
cut out flat against the sky

and I was reminded of Odysseus
who some believe
had landed here
when he was lost
after the Trojan War

only to find his way back
back to Penelope
and to his home

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