Comment on this article

Fourth of July at the Beach
by Ellen Waterston

Sitting on the beach, stranded by the receding tide,
she hugs her knees to her chest. He yells "No!"
as he dives into the ocean, as though, hearing him,
the waves will behave. He doesn't notice she lifts
the back of her hand to her forehead, her lip glistens
with salt. Had he ever traveled her body with attention
he would have seen the signs of it being too late,
but his curiosity was too mild. He thought he didn't
have to be present to win.

Standing naked on the motel balcony in darkness
soft as cotton she lights a sparkler, the prickly
shower landing on her breast. This solo firework–
a final act of hope. She seems to know better than
most that the end of things is part of the equation.
She tells him she wants to leave. He kneels
on the stained carpet, before the elements
of mistake and perfection, rolls a ball under the bed
to scare out what lies in hiding.


Return to:

[New] [Archives] [Join] [Contact Us] [Poetry in Motion] [Store] [Staff] [Guidelines]