LOST CHILDREN

Coney Island, June 9, 1941

 

In Weegees photograph we see the boy

Unmothered underneath the boardwalk sign,

But its the man, his smile, on whom we fix

Our gaze, white shirt, white belt, white captains hat:

Our eye holds him a beat, then wanders toward

The littoral awash with roustabouts

And idlers, women half-undressed who laugh

A little loud because losts almost found.

But what about the boy who clings against

And to the man, child eyes forever closed?

Our objects subject blurs. We look from boy

To man to boy before it clicks: Were him.

Words focused, too, prove accurate, untrue:

By we its I we mean; by him its them.

 

Joseph Capista has a poetry collection, Intrusive Beauty, that recently won the Hollis Summers Prize and will be published by Ohio University Press in 2019.  AGNIPloughsharesHudson Review, and Georgia Review have published his poems.  Capista teaches writing at Towson University.

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