on the Santa Monica Pier, between Soda Jerks and the Scar-Faced Mother with a Cardboard Sign





A rip-shoal

of tourists,

of lives run aground,

of Spanish, Korean and Panama Jack

sunglasses flash,

embers squint to be found

between weary planks

whisp’ring “never look back

past the blue-frosted boardwalk” –

a peach foundling sound

snoops in from the south, keeling starboard and tack

as the sunsets it blasts

from its ballasts


when you look to the lady with cards in a stack – her red-sundaed lips smile,

“Kings will be crowned

and sharks will sow Shakespeares, and rainstorms be drowned

and between drunken spins of the merry-go-round you’ll find broken shells of their hearts which don’t crack and you’ll wear them and wonder and wander alone

on the hallowing pier for the shimmering ferry that

but departs once,

for each moon-sharded fish and her bones.



Image credits in order of appearance:

By JCS – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16070675

By Christian Beiwinkel – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37138909

By Sweet Ice Cream Photography – https://unsplash.com/photos/u-Cn6kI0-4Q/, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48305189

By Izuzuki – http://www.izuzuki.com/, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32260661


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