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Thirteen Thoughts on the Seaside

by Mainon A Schwartz

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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


Posted on 06/09/2005
Copyright © 2024 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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