- NO MORE SAND: Thoughts Composed Discursively aboard the SuperFast Gambling Boat Somewhere between Miami and Bimini
- ARCHITECTURE, CHICAGO-BORN
A LIST OF TRASH from Legion Picnic Island (and Surrounding) in Biscayne Bay
alongside what seems to be a piece of a dark-brown giraffe plush toy with clouds of synthetic fibers that float with the sticks and rocks as the background. A black rubber chancleta and Gatorade bottles (plastic) left behind by Christopher the kayak hobbyist explorer visitante from Spain.
Black oil bottle.
Green plastic from broken chair balances on a
black lid (plastic). Metallic-blue plastic piece reflects the heart-shaped leaves of what seems to me to be from a Catalpa bignonioides tree.
Queen Osprey, our predatory eagle, leaves her six-week-old nest to fly above with eyes fixed on the fishy prize. I watch her pass on the reflection of a glass bottle with water, sand, pieces of floating turtle grass, the marine diatom Seminavis robusta (a diatom is a single-celled alga that has a cell wall of silica), and tiny, swimming krill: a type of biosphere like a terrarium.
SEA GRAPE FLOURISH HERE THE FRUIT IS EDIBLE AND I FIND THEM TASTY, so I ate one that fell safely onto a triangular piece of Styrofoam with a hole in it and in that hole was a beautiful, transparent red plastic bottle cap with a Coca-Cola logo on it and a blood-red ketchup packet, oxidized.
A chewed-on (by what it seems like some type of mammal) heel and knee of a faded salmon-colored plastic baby leg.
Green rope in a knot that took five tries to learn five paces away from a fifty-five gallon white plastic bin 5 percent filled with more trash (McDonald’s cup, shoe rubber, transparent and green plastic bottles, old boot, plastic tub, blue lighter, gallon plastic, decomposing coconuts, another chancleta—broken).
Mop end suspended between branches pretends to be an octopus, points to a yellow flotation device on a mono filament line tangled with a sprouted seed.
Blue and purple fibers were once rope or maybe a clown’s wig.
Cerulean blue left-ear noise-canceling foam shape because the city’s too loud, and a toilet seat because the city’s too shitty. Wooden plank with old varnish already walked on.
Plastic rum bottle. A disposable cup from a night to remember on the other side of the bay, perhaps they had a good time.
Styrofoam rocks sink the rubber soul of the never-going-to-walk-again shoes on the other foot buried in decomposing coconut shells. Meal container.
Sea urchin with
red-and-yellow striped straws poking out of it. Suckers.
Rubber hose attached to brackets with a rust-green patina.
Turquoise-blue plastic coils among the mangroves. Balsa wood and resin very fishlike with glitter-reflecting floating lure, the big eyes to the prize (hooks have rusted away).
Plastic, Styrofoam plastic, Styrofoam plastic, Styrofoam plastic, Styrofoam plastic, Styrofoam plastic, Styrofoam plastic, Styrofoam plastic, Styrofoam plastic, Styrofoam plates and pieces range in size.
A used-to-be-red-but-because-the-sun-has-now-faded-it pink lid from an ice cooler.
Plastic yellow buoy, long. Green floaty arm float, child size with instructions, safety precautions, and breath of the cautious parent still in it.
Two Ritz soda pop plastic bottles in a white bag with rusted Mason jar lid. The reflection of the sun sneaking in between the leaves, shines a holy luminescent white light onto the Styrofoam at the right moment, it will last forever.
Aluminum foil ball like meteor tangled with purple-indigo fabric or melted rubber hugs and grips rocks and fossils.
Black fibers with tar maybe for use in roofing next to necklacepod (Sophora tomentosa), a plant with yellow flowers all year; attractive foliage; seeds poisonous. Do not step on the
rusted nails that penetrate through the treated wood. A shit
ton of plastic cups.
A delicious Pilon tin sans café.
One-liter milk jug
with rancid milk inside.
Plastic bags that range from white to brown and yellow. I watched what used to be a white, now almond, and green plastic bag that was in the grips of this branch trapped for so long that it forgot what it was because it was swayed by the persuasive tide wave after wave after wave in perfect harmony.
Green baby iguana scurries through pieces of Styrofoam (Styrofoam plate tectonics) that float like bird shit in the high tide (good luck I guess), that while inspecting a tennis ball a fish eagle drops a four-and-a-quarter-inch fish smack splat on my shoulder promoting me to the rank of guts and two scales.
Organic food container from Whole Foods ($7.99), red lipstick in a blue (like the sky) plastic bag.
Condom wrapper from that first time we made sweet, sweet love under the full moonlight on the bay. Bae. Smartwater.
bottle next to a Smartfood Popcorn plastic bag.
Big white rope with decayed lynch knot.
A brown lizard on a yellow frisbee on white bleach bottle watches my every move.
Chewed-up triangular piece of foam with hole has tiny plant sprouts in its craters. Plastic lawn chair reclines on a Sabal palmetto (also known as cabbage palm), the heart is edible, the flowers are sweet and can produce a dark amber honey, and fruits have a prune-like flavor.
Algae green Nike shoe. Green painted wood.
Another chancleta (sandal) with illustrated scene of a wind surfer with wave, palm tree (with coconuts), island, and birds.
Aluminum cans and metals. Rusted Razor. Tampon applicator. Majestic frigatebird glides above.
Indigo fabric comforts the tiny crack baggie. Orange and reflective barricade contrasts the lapis lazuli–
blue dog toy.
A dark-green heavy glass wine bottle that at one time gave the gift of loosening the lips enough to spark an intense environmentally super conscientious debate.
Mud daubers are solitary wasps that prey on spiders for their larvae by paralyzing them with their venom and bringing them into their nests. They drink rainwater from half-broken Fiji water bottle with paradise illustrated.
Black garbage bag with nothing in it.
Red and green plastic bottle caps complement each other.
Rusted metal cage with hexagon pattern.
Green triangular emerald tablet of green glass.
The guts of a potato chip bag gleaming chrome.
Plastic toy shovel used to dig a moat around the sandcastle to protect against an attack by the Sargassum brown seaweed (edible) monster.
Plastic, Styrofoam plastic, Styrofoam plastic, Styrofoam plastic, Styrofoam plastic, Styrofoam plastic, Styrofoam plastic, Styrofoam plastic, Styrofoam plastic.
Red bugs (Pyrrhocoridae) have an orgy on a scrap of Styrofoam; they are all over this island and don’t seem to mind the trash, almost serves as a set for the romantic gathering.
White plastic Cream cleaner bottle that has written on it the words framing an illustration of an octopus with painting supplies in all five of its tentacles with a big happy cartoon face saying “something to do it” and also contains no harsh abrasives.
Olde English 16-once can. Broken Keep Out sign. Pleather glass eye carrying case. Chewing tobacco tin (plastic), fruit cup, tiny liquor bottle, red and white bobber that looks like a Pokémon ball, toothbrush (broken), Tic-Tac container, and a clear plastic bottle with hand-written message done with anger or lots of haste, 20 percent readable, all belonged to one man.
Ochre-yellow acrylic paint container. Random violent violet transparent plastic suffocates a bag of Famous Amos chocolate cookies. Bird bones, including skull of bird with a short curve at the end of a black beak, perhaps a raptor fish eater.
Rusted air horn probably left behind by a sexy duo of super heroic adventurous types that capsized in the bay losing their phones and life vests, floating holding on to half-sunken canoe and what was left of equipment for thirty minutes against the current only to be saved by two very skeptical angels on a red unicorn after a weird angle caused by the choppiest of wave combinations during a camera rescue mission back to Bird Key while singing and humming a remix of the theme song for the video game Zelda.
Coconut water container, paper and plastic-lined with aluminum, imported from Thailand, surrounded by tons of coconuts.
Neon-orange glowing-in-the-sunlight plastic ball.
Yellow with pink polka dots triangle of plastic next to a bird leg bone.
Publix plastic bag with misc. trash inside suspended from tree.
Red-orange shopping cart fragment.
Hermit crab on top of blue-green plastic chair, half-buried.
Sea purslane (sesuvium portulacastrum), an edible ground covering plant is a salty snack that is a good source of protein, omega-3, and essential vitamins tangled and tied with two old shoelaces.
Paint roller . . . hard.
Legos in a beauty berry-purple cup and an orange Halloween-themed bucket with the bats from
Francisco Goya’s Los Caprichos tattooed on it.
Tire island with tree sprout.
Nickel bag empty (plastic).
Medicine bottle glows a luminescent orange on the ground and above my head seemingly floating creatures of the Nephila genus commonly called golden orb-weavers, giant wood spiders, and banana spiders patiently wait for an oncoming meal. While these spiders are mildly venomous, they aren’t a big threat to humans, as their venom isn’t overly potent.
Philly blunt wrapper, BRUT after shave, and 7-Eleven Slurpee cup.
Red ribbons helix-wrap themselves around mangrove roots and remind me of the irony that is that this ribbon probably made the most beautiful lady really happy attached to an ever-so-consumable balloon with the words “fuck me” on it.
Inflatable beach ball (with breath).
Blue deodorant that hides the civilized from smelling like the beasts. Plywood.
Red mangroves grow out of PVC pipes.
Floating coffee cup, with plastic lid still on, rocks on waves.
Fantastic plastic blue bait bucket with fish still in it.
Plastic fantastic “thank you thank you” bags; consist of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is made from petroleum, which won’t break down. Ever.
Imitation Croc shoe (space-age rubber, black).
Disintegrating into the Earth is particle board.
A pillow, green and brown with little shrimp-like beings all over it.
Dirty wet algae with barnacles, teddy bear that once belonged to that little girl who would never let it go and couldn’t sleep at night without it.
Tin can lid.
A plastic water soaker ray gun to get the little ones ready for a journey into space.
Red shotgun shell, round Styrofoam next to sea urchin skeleton (broken).
A recently deceased white heron and behind him an armada of our discards.
Plastic bottle of Moco de Gorila hair gel.
Orange club bracelet.
A foam Earth squeeze stress ball
and a half of a blue shoe
Franky Cruz is a multidisciplinary artist with a BFA from the New World School of the Arts who currently lives in Miami.