The War Reporter Paul Watson Lost His Camera

by Dan O’Brien

Vacationing in Cape Town, longing to purge
yourself with Stellenbosch and lobster. Waves
lashing scapular limestone. Unshouldering
your camera on your moult of clothes you dip
into the bay while it sways till you might
let yourself get carried away. Onshore
a baboon. A dog’s trot. His ponytail
-like tail sweeping the coral wash. Fumbling
the camera with spidery paws, weighing
something in his scales. Found wanting. Clamping
canines into the salt-stained strap he climbs
into the thorny strandveld. Where a breeze
bothers his pelt as he squats like a thug
-gish Buddha. Jaundiced eyes and gun muzzle
-like muzzle daring you. To holler. Hurl
skipping stones from the sliding tide. He ducks
behind a tree. And here comes your camera
sailing the daylit half-moon, exploding
off the exposed, foam-flecked table, spewing
guts that had fixed the souls of so many
undone by what? Baring your fangs you howl
your thanks as much as your dread. But it’s just
your camera. Remember.