Postcard proseIssue 11 | January 2011

Midnight Voices

by Matthew Muller

I lay in the darkness and listened to the ocean and the wind through the open screens. The radio in the corner carried voices from the dark waters outside into the living room all night, voices calling to other boats, Come in Sea Slipper, come in Juniper, southwest wind, fishing tomorrow, drank too much, still drinking. I woke up once and turned over, saw dim stars through the skylight. The voices on the radio weren’t speaking English anymore. I tried to catch the words, but they kept rushing and blowing through the speakers like the wind and waves outside. Maybe it was Haitian, I thought.

That day we had watched a Haitian ship sail across the horizon, leaving Nassau, risking the trip home. I had seen those boats up close, whole trees for masts, the bark peeled off, sails stitched together, mattresses piled and strapped on the roof of the cabin. Along the deck: washing machines, crates of electronics, televisions, crates of food, these colorful ships rocking back and forth in Nassau harbor, gathering goods to take back home. They’re fast, those boats, I tell ya, boyo, but they do crash; big storm comes through, they won’t make it.

The boat would be far out of range now, and the voices I heard sounded more like friends whispering from across the room, not someone blasting quietly through the dark, toward someone like me, listening in the darkness.

About the author

Matthew Zanoni Muller was born in Bochum, Germany, but grew up mostly in the US. His travels have taken him to Europe, South America, and the Caribbean, but he now calls upstate New York home. You can find his work at The Legendary, Orion Headless, Spilling Ink Review, or visit him here.

Read our current issue:

Poetry

Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok