Fishermen at Paradise Cocktail Resort, 1997
Kristine Ong Muslim

In Hawaiian shorts, the tourists tote
souvenirs inside their beach buckets:
collectible suns, disposable eyes,
sands and glass and handfuls of summer—
the moments embedded on the glossy
surfaces of postcards or megabytes
of memory in digital cameras.

They come to the sea in order to forget
the lives of urban saints, crooks of twilight,
parables of no-smoking signs and steel rail dust.
One part of their song involves silence:
a man poses, smiles, brandishes his catch.
The camera clicks as the blood from the fish
pools on the sand directly under its silvery tail.