So they say
Out in the sea, on the edge of the horizon, there is an unusual island. I squint. It is larger than all the small islands and is surrounded by mist. There are small lights all over it and there are no lights here. One minute it is there and later when I go out for a walk in the village it has gone. It is an island that comes and goes.
The people say this is a cruise ship.
The people say that when the moving island comes the people on it do not know its Haiti. They play in the water but that they are locked into that place and are not allowed into Haiti to see the villages or meet the people. They say guards with gun stand by the fence so that they can not get out and so that the people of the village cannot get in. I do not know if this is true but its what people say.
The people say that only two weeks ago a woman bled to death in childbirth and they tried to call a cruise ship van to take her to the hospital but they said no. Later she died and they sent flowers. I do not know if this is true but this is what her brother says. The placenta would not come out and she bled to death while the people on the island that comes and goes ate and watched movies and danced. I do not know if this is true but its what the people say. They said the father of the woman who died threw the flowers on the ground. That is what they say.
There is a massive rubber float toy on the beach where I walk. It sits deflated and crumpled by someone’s house. They say its from the cruise ship but I do not know. They say it floated up on shore along with thousands of plastic soda bottles. I had thought the people just didn’t pick up their garbage but then I realized you can not buy a soda there and I never saw anyone drinking one. Things float to shore. The people say it comes from other islands. Where would they take it even if they picked it up and still the waves will bring more tomorrow.
They say once a few people escaped from the island that comes and goes and went into Cap Hatien. They were not allowed back on the boat. They left them here in Haiti. I do not know if this is true but its what people say.
They say the clinic has no doctor and only two nurses who are not able to do the work. Once the cruise company paid for a Cuban doctor but he went away. That is what the people say.
They say Christopher Columbus’s ship sailed here and that his boat burnt in the cove near to where the ship stays. That is what the people say. They point and I look out in the sea I and can not imagine.
I walk up on the hill and down into a clear cove of bright, blue water. Dogs and children follow along and later there is soccer on the beach and a fire and the last songs of the day.