It could have been one day
When the salt spray blew across
The road from the boardwalk, smelling
Of creosote and taffy, or the
Wind just carried a swell from
The rolling of the sharp Atlantic,
But, waiting after her job at the Albion Hotel,
She notched her coat tighter and held
The lilac scarf more firmly about her face,
As he, stumbling at the curb in the half done
Twilight, lurched at her.
So they met in apologies and found
The loneliness in their faces like the
Emptiness of the great hotels across
The way, in the gray solitude of long
Winter nights, sparkling with indifferent
Stars that wheel in false patterns.
Perhaps they went to the boardwalk the
Next night and bought stringy sweet taffy
From the only open shop or just watched
The strings of lights blaze on the joints
Of the creosote ties bending light
Far out to ocean where the waves
Unsteadily, yet predictably, wander.
The next night, he took her salt fishing,
She wearing her best mauve
Dress, he smoking an old pipe,
And casting into the clear water out from
The boiling of the surf with sure eye
And steady arm, for a time content
With nothing. Then she talked him into
Going to the Asbury Pharmacy
For coffee and a sandwich,
And they gazed in each others' eyes,
Full of their oneness,
But they both remembered how the
Bus, warm with sticky diesel fumes,
Felt that first night while they stood
Holding the straps hand on hand
For the longest time, and how
Her fingers, pressing the hard flesh,
Left a faint dimple on his.
By David King
Copyright 2006 by David King.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry 360 with permission of the author.