It’s always sparkling, wet, the cobblestone trailing
around downtown, and in my memories it’s always
night, during a season that can only be described
as Half Summer, because autumn doesn’t hold weight
here. Rain and blue clouds against blue sky, street
lamps, heat rising, breath. We walk to the top of Lion’s
Bridge just to see the blinking lights reflected in the bay,
to see what it’s like to have something beneath us.
Late sailboats and manatees drift in the salt bath,
moonlight morphs their gray calm heads into floating
Spanish bodies lost to St. Augustine’s namesake: matanzas.
The breeze isn’t enough to chill to the veins, but listen
for Fate’s whispers, Warnings always come too late.
The towns people brag because they have the oldest haunted
places in America, complete with splintering steel bars
and walls, sharp palm fronds, blue orbs. Once, I was walking
through all the cemeteries around town and skipping over Tolomato
tribe plinths, a red orb drifted, a dandelion seed to my mouth,
it floated bitterly and cold in my throat. Early in the morning
the cobblestone begins to dry and the ghosts come out, grasp
on to sunbeams. They pass out pamphlets about their macabre
Parables of dying. Most of the tales conclude: tell your
heart to be cautious of a lover trying to tame you in that
flowing quill-on-parchment script, but no one’s listening
to the omens in St. Augustine anymore. Late at night, try
to test an orange wrapped in magnolia leaves for honesty
over Mai Tai’s and it will roll right into the ocean,
it just doesn’t care for light, nothing does, except maybe
the jellyfish jumping red tide to stick in the sand…Even they
aren’t alive, and like the ghosts, don’t have tongues to speak.
Kristiane Weeks is a Hoosier with a passion for the arts, something that Indiana is not famous for. She’s dabbled in all writing forms, but poetry and creative non-fiction are her niches. She’s currently an MA student studying Creative Writing at Indiana University in South Bend, set to graduate May 2015, with a BA in English from Flagler College in St. Augustine.