Black and white photograph of a bottle on a beach.

by Isabella Brosi

Long ago,
I was walking along the beach
and found a map—
a treasure map,
floating along the shore.
I never expected to stumble upon anything of the sort,
and I certainly wasn’t looking for it.
I was just strolling along, minding my own, 
when I caught a glimpse of light out of the corner of my eye;
sunshine reflected off a glass bottle, 
just as I passed by.
Now you might say this was purely coincidental, 
but I beg to disagree;
I think the the timing was right for me to find that treasure map, 
or rather 
for it to find me.

I chose to follow it;
I sailed across the sea,
fought the mighty kraken,
and escaped the sirens’ melodies.
“Land ahoy!” 
I shouted, and brought my ship to port
on an island uncharted,
desolate and free,
where under the summer sun and bright blue skies,
a trove revealed itself to me—
and to my surprise,
the treasure was a she.

Reaching for the key 
around her neck,
she gave it a little twist, 
invited me to have a look 
and, if I wanted, share a kiss.
She was just so beautiful, 
oh how could I resist?

Then she told me a story,
tried and true, 
of pirates and sunken ships, 
lost forever in the deep blue.
Pieces of her drowned with them, 
memories, long forgotten;
with time they washed up with the tide
on this island untrodden.
On it, she built a great big chest
and kept the key hung ’round her neck,
for the treasure inside was hers alone;
hers to share and hers to stow.

At last, there was no one around to snatch it, 
to dig her up and steal her gold.
And so, among the seabirds and the coconut trees,
she found her peace,
drew a map,
and sent it away in one of their beaks.
The seabird flew as far as the wind would take him
and dropped it out at sea,
where it bobbled in the current
for many moons and more, 
until one day a sweet soul stumbled upon it,
floating along the shore.

By then, it had slipped through 
the unworthy grasps
of countless souls it had come to pass,
but this one’s palms were soft and gentle,
belonging to a woman’s hands.

It was she who
sailed across the sea,
fought the mighty kraken,
and escaped the siren’s melodies,
and it was she who would share the treasure,
her greatest pleasure:
to know and love and protect her forever,
and together,
they would set sail
off this desert island
to explore the world 
to some great measure,
with Treasure at the wheel,
charting a course to her desire,
unafraid of pirates,
for the cannons that they fire
cannot burn a ship of steel.

Isabella Brosi is 18 years old and a freshman at LaGuardia on the path to become a Licensed Veterinary Technician. Her passion for writing comes a close second to her love for animals, both of which go back to her childhood. It was not until her teenage years that she developed a soft spot for poetry and began writing some of her own. Some of her favorite poets are Emily Dickinson and Sappho, creators of some of the most beautiful wlw poems in history. She also loves Mary Oliver. You can follow her poetry account on instagram @solaceinastanza.

Image: Jens Auer, Creative Commons license as Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike