Tortuguitas

 

Newborn sea turtles erupt from their nest
like lava from El Momotombo.

With a slingshot, he shoots a seagull
that flies away with a hatchling.

Neither survive the fall,
and he buries them in the sand.

He leaves home, where the taste of a glass-bottled
Coca-Cola is as sweet as a first kiss,

and the white sand between his toes
never burns his bare feet

to return to a beach lined with fewer palms,
and to find sparse footprints of tortuguitas

like the memory of his first kiss, when he was
a boy yet to discover the point of a broken promise,

and the memories that lie beneath the surface—
a slingshot, a seagull’s bones, and a turtle’s carapace.

 

* * *

 

Onnyx Bei is an undergraduate student at University of St. Thomas in Houston, where he is working towards a BA in English literature with a minor in creative writing. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Midtown Journal, Laurels, Glass Mountain, Columbia: A Journal, and others. He is a recipient of the Susan T. Scanlon Scholarship in Creative Writing and the Danny Lee Lawrence Writing Award for Poetry.

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