Love Poem to the King Tide

I am perched
on the edge of the city
as it is about to sink.

at the yellow light
in the hello car
wondering at
the water lap.

I think
to want your mouth again;
it goes
tsk tsk tsk like the 3:00 AM

One shouldn’t be
with the tide at king,
shouldn't be this jealous
of the stuffed moon,

since I
am drunk
and empty
and Biscayne
bay is
a belly

full of mullets
and jacks

and snoopy
nurse sharks,

who lurked
before Florida
They all think (inasmuch
as they can
think) that
though death
is quick,
doom is a slow thing,

and prefers October
over all other

What I mean is
Doom and I
and the moon
and the king tide
are all alike.

We show up
in the low lying
parking lots,

We loiter with lionfishes
under the plastic straps
of submerged lawn

We smell awful,

and set about
the joyful task
of Ruin. Yes,

I salute
the slow
of Miami

here from this
by my house.

I welcome
the pisswarm
the dirty
the unstoppable.

On the impending destruction of Miami by the rising ocean / In praise of Amiri Baraka

The sun was white (what else
   would it be?)

And a few leaves lie.

The sun was white.

The sun was using this country as a commode.
I waited
   for the horizon to get up
   from bed smiling & glad.

The tide left first. An old drunk, he smells

awful, but my dog is
happy in the shallows.

And why would the sun be white?
   (what an obvious thing)

The whole bay is shallows. I’m waiting

  for it to get a bit deeper
  for more of you to understand
   (as simple an act
   as opening the eyes.)

Sunday is sunstroke, Monday a broken cigarette holder.
   I won’t even talk about Tuesday
  except to say the motherfucker had a bidet installed.

The sun is white.
 (which is to say: you better not
 get used to it)

And a few leaves lie

How is the time?
 (which was a way of asking after weather
  when the weather was the time)

Seen from a remove
 (from a timelessness which does not exist)
it must be quite amazing: A city
 birthed in drained shallows, then quickly drowned.

For more information about this piece, see this issue's legend.

Mario Alejandro Ariza is a Dominican immigrant and a Michener Fellow in poetry at the University of Miami. He holds a Master’s degree in Hispanic Cultural Studies from Columbia University. His poetry can be found in places like The Cincinnati Review, Gulf Coast, and The Raleigh Review, and his journalism appears in places like The Atlantic and The Miami New Times.

Royal Road

Royal Road is one of the few public access points to the water in my area of town, and it's one of the more visible reminders of the area's topography, since it slopes down the coastal ridge all the way to the water, and goes from one of the highest elevations in the county to one of the lowest in just a few hundred meters. I walk down to the water with my dog at least once a day, and during the king tides the whole lower lying sections of the road get inundated. The city is thinking of turning it into a park, and it especially needs some attention after hurricane Irma tore into the seawall.