Folly Island

by John Riley

I knew a girl on Folly Island who took
showers in water so hot
her skin blushed pink rosettes.
She'd shower, stretch on top
of bed sheets, satin always,
perfect for the heat that lives

when the other fills the eye,
before you fold like smoke
the sea breeze turns
back inside itself. Folly is an island

of foliage, live oaks with hanging moss,
wisteria, magnolia trees that bloom
white flowers. She lived on the edge
of a marsh, where the fragrance is at first
oppressive but soon becomes a rich aroma
you miss when you're gone.