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Elizabeth Jacobson: Which Yellow Bird

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

to yip.


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 Airwon the New Measure Poetry Prize, selected by Marianne Boruch.  (c) 2019 by Parlor Press. Used with permission.

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This entry was posted on April 29, 2019 by in Humor and Satire, Poetry and tagged , , .

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