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May 2, 2018 Poetry

Not a Walk On The Beach

Jennifer Metsker

Not a Walk On The Beach photo

The air before me
is the flavor of
an oat cake popsicle.
Or a shoe box. 
Or the water sports
I’m not doing. 
So I sign for
a prescription
while all the world
is water sporting
in brightly-colored
board shorts. It’s
a matter of geometry—
every body on the beach
is a perfect angle. They
lean toward life. They
lean toward classified
water sports while
I decide to buy
a frozen thing and
enter ghost
exhalation.
In this place, ghosts
are not much
to talk about.
Boating,
now there’s a good
topic for conversation.
On a motor boat, on
a reservoir as dull
as the beer cans
that bob in it,
mouths opens
but only motor
sounds come out.
Longing for death
is like stumbling
through the freezer aisle
in a wet bathing suit
clutching chicken
cutlets shaped like
guns. But the
crushed head of an
accidental fall never
manifests. The floor
is too aloof today.
Still my need to
climb into the freezer. 
It’s a matter of not
fitting in. Or a
personification
problem. Or perhaps
it’s the prescription.
Boats pull away
from a dock
somewhere and press
their faces into
the water. It’s
the water that makes
them sicker.
Or the chicken.
There’s a room
beneath the water
where all the guns
are hidden in
the game system.
All the grunts and
all the guns. And
no one water-skis in
the game system.
No one is having any fun.

 

image: Aaron Burch


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