The Way There:
Moored off Muscat, Alfonso de Albuquerque weighed pearls, entered inky figures into conquest chronicles, leaning columns cataloging greed, and wondered whether to boil or fry the glassfish for lunch. Low on oil, brandy, joy, patience, and citrus, the crew had been mumbling mutiny since Mombasa. Only battle and pillage elevate spirits. Doldrums fanned bloodthirst, still water since Maputo, rowing Galleons inspired nobody. We need a temple to torch, cannonballs flying, night screams, more slaves. He tossed the shucked shells onto the staghorn reef glowing luminescent.
The Way Here:
Rounding the Horn, Nelson Setubal maintains the oak was eaten from within by termites, perhaps maggots. Only the Broadnosed Seven Gill Cow Shark knows best—all that infesting pays well. The Puffadder Shyshark might add two-clarifying-cents if found and persuaded to rat. The Houndshark took the fifth when pressed spoke in tongues. Fin envy remained the official gloss for capsize. Overload and tidal misreading were also footnoted. At least that’s what Sad Nuno the Cartographer feathered in the dispatch to Henry the Navigator, who well knew attention was propaganda.
Jackie and Truman sipped breakfast gimlets on the Palácio da Comenda veranda, would you just look at those Sado sandbars, they seem to be floating, he said waving the wand-like cigarette holder. Aren’t we all? Aristotle says cuttlefish are good for circulation. Shall we take the mules up to the windmill later? Conceivably, if I phone my words in on time, and you provide your houseboy’s companionship. Truman, you really are a hound. I prefer the word harpy. A single ripe olive plopped onto a cobblestone. Truman lit Jackie’s and Jackie lit Truman’s, not half a worry between them. Ashes flicked out to sea.
David Morgan O’Connor is from a small village on Lake Huron. After many nomadic years, he is based in Albuquerque, where a novel and MFA progresses. His writing has appeared in; Barcelona Metropolitan, Collective Exiles, Across the Margin, Headland, Cecile’s Writers, Bohemia, Beechwood, Fiction Magazine, After the Pause, The Great American Lit Mag (Pushcart nomination) , The New Quarterly and The Guardian. Tweeting @dmoconnorwrites.