When together on Avon Beach
I read Stendhal and little waves
began to dampen the corner
of your towel, you silenced me
with a nudge of toe and said
imagined landscapes soothe
the broken-hearted, but I am here
between the salt and you, I am
breathing, and we owe each other
this bit of dragon-shell, this
sand that goes unnoticed.
Look—the light at Diamond Shoals
is shimmering, the wind moves
the sea oats back and forth—
a narrative, a thing to know
and follow. Touch my shoulder,
touch the bone that steadies it
as the fishermen retreat
past the dunes with empty buckets
and bouquets of cigar smoke
at their mouths. Listen now—
they tell stories with failed endings
and the broken shells their boots
displace are simply a beginning.
Carl Boon lives in Izmir, Turkey, where he teaches courses in American literature, history, and culture at 9 Eylül University. Born in Barberton, Ohio, on the edge of the rustbelt, he earned his B.A. from Denison University in 1996 and his doctorate ten years later in Twentieth-Century American Lit from Ohio University. His dissertation explored the democratizing power of the poetry of Ron Silliman. Boon’s poems appear in dozens of magazines, including The Maine Review, The Hawaii Review, and Posit. A Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, Boon is currently editing a volume on food in American literature.
Photographer’s Note: The last three stanzas of this poem are stunning.