didn’t appear, or when it did, the words of warning

“facing extinction” were right next to the price


If tourists could look past the lure of Exotic

and grouper were not so tasty, flaky-firm, and almost no bones


If Pesos didn’t revolve around Grouper, nor lives

of cooks and waiters with families of six in one room


If the fiction of plentiful didn’t slide with such ease from tongues

If anyone dared to question


If Grouper never made courtship sounds and didn’t

gather each year from hundreds of miles around


If undersea microphones were never designed to eavesdrop for

days on end to the world’s largest dance of the most intricate pairing


of spotted, slowly changing reds and browns circling, spiraling, swirling and coupling


If overfishing at sites of mating did not threaten

If overfishing meant breaking a law and the penalties, harsh


If beauty and wonder could put food on the table

If conscience could shelter each head


If, in our fragmented minds, opposing realities

never dangled, like these sentences


like the future of our oceans

If the lures of hope were never



for my friend Cristina Limonta, Underwater Videographer