Mural: St. Croix


A sailboat and its white hull floating on the water like a grimace or lopsided moon. How the banana daquiri’s implosions of flavor echoed on my tongue while the bartender stuffed a blender with five bananas for my 2nd. Tom and I. How our kayak-oars were conduits as we stuck them into waters aspark with bioluminescence. Squares of honey cake swelling with flavor. So many abandoned cars in the jungle and their decades of rust—a museum of automotive osteology. Eight fathoms down a wall of reef: the divemaster skewering a lionfish and the nurse shark’s path, vacillating maniacally like a soundwave, to claim it with his big-mouth snatch. How scuba collapsed the world I knew, like a theatre curtain dropping to reveal hallways of stages. Submerged parts of the pier’s pillars coated in reef—outgrowths of webbed rock and branches of staghorn coral grasping at schools that meander by. How most days people ask are you on your honeymoon and chuckling to each other, full of fourteen years. The blue of that ocean, impossible to recreate like something from a dream—as if blue were ethereal or majestic or supernatural—certainly not of this earth. A blue-I-couldn’t-believe and repeatedly blinked at, waiting for it to resemble a more familiar shade. 10 PM, in the kayak, falling back into Tom’s arms to stare upwards at a night that churned with sprays of stars, the ocean beneath us aswirl with glittering sediment, eager and alive.


Mural: Three years in Key West


Conchs everywhere but the beach. Bruise-blue crabs scuttling the estuary’s woods. The muse that is Key Lime Pie and each local chef’s interpretation realized in three-story displays of crust, tang, and fluff, peaked into mountain ranges burnt into the mallow. Mammoth iguanas straddling the prehistoric and domestic, clenching to branches of manicured bushes. A life-size cutout of Judy Blume. Frogs no bigger than croutons bounding on walkways, their translucent sacs of bodies pumping with tiny organelles. A high school with entirely outdoor passing periods. Our calicos discovering—reveling—in the back porch’s liminal space of sun and carpet. Plush algae affixed to boulders like thick, emerald embroidery on stonewash denim. Coy pelicans with that dreamy and bashful, blue-eyed gaze. My husband and I—how our love doesn’t abide entropy, gaining energy the longer we’re together. The sky ever-heaping in a stack of contrails as if a pile of bones on a blue x-ray. The massive, sapphire and yellow swimming heads of queen angel fish. Art galleries featuring kitsch-pop art full of unsubtle commentaries on an afflicted humanity. Colonial homes painted in egg-shell-varieties of blue or pink or yellow. That freakish amalgamation of stingray and crustacean realized in a scuttling horseshoe crab. A Hemingway cat’s fat-pawed grasp on my thigh, while sitting in the backyard of the writer’s famous mansion.

Courtney Hitson

Courtney Hitson holds an MFA in poetry from Columbia College Chicago and currently teaches English at the College of the Florida Keys. Her poems have appeared in numerous literary journals, including DMQ Review, Wisconsin Review, McNeese Review, and others. Courtney and her husband, Tom (also a poet), reside in Key West, Florida with their two cats.

Listed at Duotrope
Listed with Poets & Writers
CLMP Member
List with Art Deadline
Follow us on MagCloud