Sea Gypsies

by Tammy Trendle

You said you spent 5 minutes of your life
today looking for a staple remover.
Something to do with your job.
You edit, and sometimes
there is a need to pull things

apart. There are mountains
between us, and then a river.
The land swells with seeds
that fall from your pockets,
sewing the distance with deep
breaths, an entire city
in your smile.

I tell you about the Mokens,
gypsies of the Andaman Sea.
How they knew to flee the tsunami
before the first wave tore trees
from their roots, husbands from wives.
When the sky turns to salt, sometimes
there is a thirst. In their language

there is no word for want,
only an understanding
of give and take. You said
I took away your need
and you want

to share water with me.
The ground presses its pregnant
belly against my feet. I am
distracted by squirrels
in the trees. Wind.