Glass Poetry Press

Volume Four Issue Two

Laura Sobbott Ross

Florida: The Final Frontier

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning … — Emma Lazarus, "The New Colossus" Florida is shaped like a net, mouth open south of Georgia, a catch-all for highways and colliding sea breezes. Conundrum of sea cows, north flowing rivers, honey bell oranges, love bugs, eye wall winds. More lushly appointed than Oz's Emerald City for those exiled of their rainbows. Do other peninsulas share the same problem: being a column that thinks it's an island that thinks it's a bridge between sun and ocean's slow pink convergences? Think Italy, its fleecy fence line of sea, its centuries of conquerors. Why does the shore magnetize, incite, inspire both art and lunacy? Paradox, not paradise: how we claim what has already claimed us. That field of winter robins will follow the north star home. The sea shell at your ear, a buzzing hive of ocean. I feel most awake in the no wake zone — coasting slow enough to leave no trail. Dragonfly wing — an iridescent map with three sides of wind. There is no sky like the Florida sky — its Caribbean soul, wide and diverse enough to house mountain ranges of cumulus proportions, a humid evolution still visible in the night beyond the neon turnspit of theme parks, sink holes and rockets, the sphinx moth fevered in a furl of orchid spun like hot glass. Right now at our state lines, billboards and tides are swiping at the whims of dreamers, pirates, tourists, venturers, wayfarers, whose heel-scuffed ruby slippers spin like fuzzy dice from the rearview mirror.