High-tide, sea roiling, their path slippery,
he follows, talking, gesticulating.
The trio of words, words, words, she thinks.
His hand flicks a fissured rock.
Numbed by the cold, the sting is muted.
Inside, out of the wind, exposed flesh gleams,
irritation pulses, blood brilliant on tissues.
They pass the island's Latitude 40 South sign.
He talks, blood commingling with wrist hair
while she mentally lists items they need,
planning to leave him at the little hospital,
leave him to his stitches, their questions.
He is almost phobic about bureaucracy,
forms to fill, any mangling of language.
Though he looks calm his blood-pressure soars.
She reads it over the nurse's shoulder,
remembers she loved his voice on the phone,
as his damaged finger is cleaned.
The antiseptic reminds her of their grief,
how he said it would take time.
She should have left him, gone to the store.