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I sit on a bamboo and rattan bar stool
at the Monkey Bar overlooking the Chagres River.
I drink a glass of seven-year old Ron Abuelo rum,
sweet nectar that tastes like creme brulee
and slides down my throat like warm, spiced honey.

A breeze blows through the open bar
and with it the scent of Bougainvilleas,
Hotlips, Amaryllis and Holy Ghost Orchids.
Swaying and giving shade are Wild Cashew
and Geiger Trees, Banana and Coconut Palms.

I peruse a crocodile idly floating by.
A log with a purpose. In the distance
I can hear the squawks of Parakeets,
Toucans and the distinctive chirps
of the aptly named Yellow-rumped Warblers.

I am transported back to 1941.
I almost expect to see Humphrey Bogart
and Mary Astor plotting to save the Canal locks
from being torpedoed by Sydney Greenstreet
in John Huston’s Across the Pacific.

Next day we board Captain Jim’s pirate ship.
I share with my wife a Pirate’s Kiss,
while on deck swords clash, the combatants chase
each other around masts and rigging
’til the inevitable death scene … “Aargh!”

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Footnotes

Pirate’s Kiss
is rum being poured by the pirate into the mouth
of one person who shares it with his or her partner by means of a kiss.

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