Part 1: Little Cayman

The highest elevation on Little Cayman Island
is forty feet above sea level

it’s not high enough to
hurt yourself         if depressed
there are 170 permanent residents
on the island

all named Junior

as am I.

I am Junior

Of the three -—  Junior and Chubby and Carmen -—
I am Junior

I am Junior also
-— right here

We are all Junior.

We share the island with
the red-footed Booby


in the Caribbean

The first sighting of Little Cayman Island
was by Christopher Columbus
May 10, 1503

My fourth (and final) voyage
we are blown off course by the wind
-— an island, I will name it
                Las Tortugas for the sea turtles
later the name will be changed to Las Caimanas
for the many caimans living there.

Caiman is Spanish for alligator.

I have never been to the Cayman Islands

Part 2: Junior Is Thinking

I am thinking about what moves me about the story
with the pieces
both presented as visual
a conversation
how I need not find my way into it
there is no intersection for me
I did not go to the same high school

as these two         Kim and Joan

how if I met someone simpatico
we might refer to each other this way:
we went to different high schools together.
That would be more accurate.

It’s the conversation recorded on the wall of the gallery
that draws me into the story
this ridiculous truth
the discipline of daily writing and
               water sports
risk         exposure         vulnerability
what do we have in common?

Also the tropical vitality of the images
and colors
as I watch them while we are praying
the movement in the visual pieces

In the story -—
Layers of bad news
followed by -—
               scuba diving
the desire for the physical

We intersect at inspiration
We talk         someone paints         someone dances
text and commentary

only here         commentary precedes text         then follows.

I’ve never actually been to the Cayman Islands, Grand Cayman
Cayman Brac.
I am Junior only in my imagination and for the length of this poem
or while looking at these pictures
I am wondering why Cayman is spelled with a y and not an i

and          did I push my way into this story
or did the story pull me in?

Part 3: So much cancer this week

Between visits and burials
last words
poetry to ease night terror

the necessity to stay sunny

-— I read the shadow story in text


I draw the line at regurgitation

The celebration of survival
with conscience and awareness         no awareness

I want to go scuba diving

and the memories that attach

I lost my skin

               Making love moving into dancing
they go to the Cayman Islands

Can I go?

To the Caribbean —
named after the Caribs
dominant Amerindian people at the time of European contact
late 15th century
gone now

in the West Indies
named by Columbus
knowing he had landed in paradise

thinking it was south Asia.

James Stone Goodman