Long Island

The road is grey tape measuring the length of long:
how long? 80, 96, 102 miles, depending. No matter.
Follow it up, from the Cape in the north to the place where it ends
above the sea at Gordons. You’ll pass plantations built on faith,
struck on rock where soil settles in cracks and holes, and water waits
to be dowsed. You’ll pass real estate built on hope, grids
scratched out of bush or perched above a honeycomb of caves. You’ll pass
beaches, churches, salt lakes, ruins, farms. Behind this bush
stretch generation lands, willed by the ancestors to all who bear their names.
Atop those hills the twin cathedrals face one another, the apostate
saluting the one true church. You will swim at Fords, whose beach will tame,
but watch the waves for sharks. Climb the hill at Deals, and stand upon the cliff;
below you’ll see the blue hole, a submarine cave whose perfect bottle shape
still baffles. It’s the largest in the world, six hundred feet deep,
though the oceans have risen only four hundred. Natives watch its rim.
When the tide is high, the fish swim in, and are trapped when the waters ebb.
In a cave near Bonnecourt, a man hunting crabs discovered a harder treasure:
three Lucayan duhos, sunk in sand. This is Long Island, Fernandina, Samana,
longer than it’s measured, deeper than you’ll know.

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