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Thirteen Thoughts on the Seaside

by Mainon A Schwartz


I.
The sea was eighteen shades
Of blue and green: turquoise, aqua, ultramarine.
Then the clouds came, and the colors calmed
Into a single shade of silver-grey.

II.
Two women are kissing.
People stare, but my boyfriend says,
“Occupe-toi de tes oignons,”
Occupy yourself with your onions--
Mind your own business.

III.
In this shimmering summer heat,
Bodies turn salty to match the sea.

IV.
I wore glasses so I could see
The line between earth and sky.
But here I am reminded
That this line does not exist.

V.
Beside us, a man has brought
Beef jerky and beer to the beach.
He sits alone,
Belching quietly at the birds.

VI.
The tide carried her out to sea.
The tide came back;
She did not.

VII.
Between the crashing of waves
On the shoreline, the water gurgles
Like a child
Blowing bubbles in the bathtub.

VIII.
I questioned only once
The weight of water on my shoulders
I was answered with mouthfuls of salt.

IX.
One golden retriever sits at the water'’s edge
And barks only at things bigger than she is.

X.
Sand glitter, glued with saltwater
Onto a blue tattoo:
A child’'s kindergarten masterpiece.
Only the macaroni
Is missing.

XI.
A black-and-white speckled rock appears
Under the sandals of a woman leaving the shores.
She says, “I'’ve never seen anything like it--
I'’ll take it home, and use it as a paperweight.
”
Her boyfriend says, “It'’s only asphalt,”
And tells her to throw it back.

XII.
A small boy holds the leash of a puppy
And pulls it along, carelessly,
While his mother holds his hand
And pulls him the same way.

XIII.
Swimsuits a size too small
Make the fat squeeze out the sides.
Someone should tell her.

06/08/2005

Posted on 06/09/2005
Copyright © 2021 Mainon A Schwartz

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 02/10/15 at 08:15 PM

VIII is my favorite, VII a close second. The varied observations delight.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 12/22/15 at 08:17 PM

Good to see this as POTD!

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