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Kirby Wright

2 Poems

Gretchen On The Beach


A divorcee from Humboldt
Talks traveling and books

While Gretchen, her daughter,
Pirouettes for me

Wearing an Angels’ baseball cap
And tapa-cloth bikini.

The divorcee informs me
Gretchen is married,

That her husband is marching back
Over seaweed and lava.

Those who are beautiful
Are always attached,

Even when they are single.
The sand disturbs

Where the divorcee stands—
She’s burrowing with her toes.

Gretchen knows I am watching.
She plucks a plumeria,

Carries it to her face,
Breathes in its fragrance.

Pieces of reef, now exposed,
Beg for her attention.


Black Point, Oahu 2004

Here you can swim
As far as you can go.

The reef is not distant—
Soon you will be aware of its teeth.

Bikinis and one pieces
Cover the beach.

A girl searches for friends
Along the seawall.

She reminds me of what I lost,
The years of crushes and failed loves.

I’m there again getting crushed
And losing all over again

This time wearing
Sunglasses, visor, marlin-blue trunks.

The familiar sand
Shifts beneath my weight.

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