We dug our heels in the sand.
Pelicans mobbed the surf for chum.
A driftwood barge combed the horizon.
Caked in salt. New year. We hadn’t said
a word past Reno. Another bridge torched
behind us for the hell of it. Yet there we
were. Washed up. Wrapped your arms
around your jagged knees and nursed
this paradise to a lonesome pulp.
From what it was, precarious love.
The sum of anchors lost and tongue-
tied seductions, the way you’d pinch
a jay to my lips from over your shoulder,
how I’d lean in for a drag and hold until
the tide retreated. Right away, I’d sink
into you, like a battering ram, punctuate
the melancholy to drown out the archives
of bloom and sorrow. We were warned.
Can’t get the wind back once it’s been
knocked out of us. We furled the shadowed
sails too soon. If the point is to capsize,
then how much longer till we’re rounded
by the sea? Any minute now, you said,
yesterday, no, was a decade ago.
Chad Weeden’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in various publications, including The Appalachian Review, Midwest Quarterly, Jabberwock Review, Asheville Poetry Review, Jet Fuel Review, and great weather for MEDIA. He is a portrait photographer and lives in Rhode Island. For additional information, visit chadweedenphoto.com.