V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics





Some days, it's just being able to walk out of the house,
fake nonchalance, not question whether the one who left
for more than life was lying. I've played that line myself.
The first surprise after diagnosis is that nothing is fair,

especially hope, which kills faster than metastasized cancer.
In dreams I'm deaf, yet speak to the hearing below dark water
smothering sound. Above, glittering swallows, salt-water pelicans.
The ocean is sandstone, silent but yielding birds, then

bones, then fossils of bones suspiciously like symbols,
even in dreams. I'm wading a shoreline of water-washed mineral,
air full of birds nothing like angels, oracular cry and echo
promising marvels better than love, each eye in love with each
polished rock, oyster shell, broken-off feather
scattered on sand, opaque, small, motionless, visible.

© by Beth Simon


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