★ ★ ★ ★
Molluscs and starfish litter the beach,
connoting endless life, as couples
stroll. Children play in the surf,
released from schools.
My boy rides the waves with his
boogie board, surfing on the
impulse of water molecules, as a
pink sunset ameliorates the sea.
Surfers further out relinquish the
day in cubicles to glide along the
surface like shorebirds.
Adams’ apples gulp green sodas.
A former lieutenant forgets
Afghanistan, home again with a
now plump with child, chatting
on her cell.
Along the liminal line, the wedding
of sea and shore produces millions
it is dotted with pink umbrellas, as
goods move in transatlantics; and
sportier craft rough through the
Falstaff and Hotspur were wedded
to death, as were Romeo and
Lear and MacBeth paid fealty to
Here, among the shallows, before
the deeps, intact families rest upon
in swimsuits they constantly adjust.
Amphibious personnel in scuba gear
and with metal finders stroll—
Babies sprawl on beach towels in
terns puzzle in zigzags, as
and weekend pirates doubloon non-
Far away, museums speak in
deadening circles; heirs chatter
in urban squares; falcons fly to their
mark, but hit window panes.
At sunset, we pack up oils and
to return to jobs as plainclothes
mall cops, and managers of 7-11s.
We rinse off ankles before a spigot.
We brush off wallets, and watches,
which have gathered sand, and
Photo by Riikka Olson
Kirby Olson is a poet living in the western Catskills. His work has appeared in Partisan Review, First Things, Christianity and Literature, and many others. His most recent collection is Christmas at Rockefeller Center (Wordtech, 2015). He teaches philosophy and creative writing at SUNY-Delhi.
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