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Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Room With Bay Window



overlooking… a bay, why not, it could happen.
The man thought some perspective might let
a little air into his life, a metaphor rolling in off

that bay, let’s say, where every morning before dawn,
you could see him, out there in the dark, doing his tai chi,
slipping his slippered feet along the grafitti-smacked

retaining wall that supposedly held the dunes in place
from advancing into and over the parking lot
of the yogurt shop, where my girlfriend worked.

But, at dawn, likely as not,  she would be out there,
seated in the sand, transfixed, so to say, rapt, among
the beer cans and the twisted cigarette packs, each

of which held, supposedly, the sum of all the past lives
of any one of an extended and spirited panoply of
distinguished beach personages that at some point had

favored the town. These fondly recalled gentlemen
were not watermen, and far from it, what is celebrated
so fervently about each of them by their acolytes,

is the selfsame glue that held them together;
it’s also the one thing that they all held in common,
and it’s nearly a lost art now, just can’t be done:

they knew how to survive in a beach town, they knew
how you have to prioritize staying warm from the first
moment of waking, to accomplish it on the cheap.

Underneath the scoreboard, the summer split
the sky with lightning, skipping fingernails across
the jumping tight, white drums of our stomachs;

steady met ready; and the night burned it into our brains.
I can still see its phosphor fog spilling over the
exposed roots of the elms; the moon-shocked

shadows inked the night from mid-thigh. Once we’d
cleared away the piles of shed bark before the opening,
we quickened at our work: you could feel it; it was warm.


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