A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
Just to the right of the lifeguard shack,
a couple was fucking on a chaise longue.
in the first row of many rows of chairs
which had been set up on the beach.
in front of the Paradise Hotel.
A few feet away, sisters in matching gingham.
piled shovels of sand on their mother’s legs
as she lay on her stomach reading French Vogue,.
sunning her shapely bottom,
while this couple went on fucking,.
despite the foot traffic and the hustling cocktail servers,
despite the families with Kadima paddles,.
their pink rubber balls
rolling toward the ocean..
The woman had pulled her swimsuit to one side,
And the man’s trunks down just enough.
so that as she straddled him
gyrating her hips slowly,.
she gave him such pleasure
that his upper lip curled oddly toward his fleshy nose,.
and his low moaning caused a Chihuahua tied to the pole of an umbrella
Their plastic wine glasses and lunch plates had tipped off the chair,
and as I watched a small frenzy of gulls fight over the remains.
of tuna sashimi and mango salad
I didn’t have the nerve to turn away..
The towel that was covering the thin strip of her skin
where she joined herself to him.
moved enough for me to see
she had a poem tattooed in Spanish,.
just above her bikini line,
one phrase of Neruda.
from The Book of Questions
and as she arched back.
the poem opened
and I read.
¿Cuál pájaro amarillo?
Elizabeth Jacobson’s second book, Not into the Blossoms and Not into the Air, won the New Measure Poetry Prize, selected by Marianne Boruch. (c) 2019 by Parlor Press. Used with permission.