Atlantic Sunburst

Atlantic Sunburst

Atlantic Sunburst 1920 1912 Sam Moe

When we go to the beach where I had
my first breakup I pretend I don’t recognize
the sand. I don’t know these waves, curl
of surf, jellyfish like clear blimps, dead
and violet on the shore, don’t know these
cinnamon pretzels, the painting I threw
my phone at, its new glass surface, wore
cheap pink flip-flops and sweatpants
I thought I was so cool, unraveling in low
vending machine light, eating chips for
dinner, burning my way through my savings
and you’re just excited to be near the festival
you want to know how I know the Ferris
wheel by heart, why do I always win the best
confetti-infused bubble wands, know what
ducks to pick up to reveal which secrets, I
know how this goes, one day I’ll tell you
who I am on the inside, explain the ghosts
and the flood, the circus tent and the dreams
I have daily in which you leave, you leap
into a coat of night, stars wrap you in their
arms, when I wake, I’m crying, fumbling
in the dim morning to find you have left
for the pool next door, did I know we could
sneak in after hours for early morning swims
I touch the familiar cement lip, let my feet
brush against the bright blue where once
I scraped my heal, you’re ignoring my mood
you’re wondering if we can go for a walk
along the shore, even the seashells are brighter
everything smells like summertime flower soap
the man selling tie-dye t-shirts nods at me
and we pretend like we don’t know each other
and I didn’t enter his shop when I was still
a teenager, wearing sunglasses and smelling
of weed and someone else’s cologne, I pretend
I don’t know pain, my life is a party trick
I control whether or not you are surprised,
loving, calm, lingering by the doorway where
fake conch shells hang amongst rainbow
lights, someone sweeps sand from their patio,
someone’s child shrieks as they see a fin in
the water and their mother is concerned because
sometimes dolphins and sharks look the same.

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