Cape May

A blank sun
pressing its palm to my
forehead, I am wrapped
in a red scarf that’s seen
foreign winters and snowfalls
in my city — now the glare is
too hot for April
and the spuming water
too cold.

The beach is part desert,
sand thick and dry
dropping like fistfuls
of bird seeds, to bury
chipped shells the size
of thumbnails.
Grain-sized pebbles, the ones
you slip into the camera pocket
to remember that you were
in fact not elsewhere.

At the lighthouse the fear
of falling kept us from
looking down entirely.
Did we see the beach?
The battlement? A sunken
S.S. Atlantus reared up like
a pensive creature. The same wind
from so many towers we had climbed
blew then on this coast.

Now the gulls circle
and find no one but couples
fishing and the rest
of our mom-and-pop store
popcorn from our slow walks
through the square, past the
mansions that were really waiting,
with hushed parlors,
for tourists to loom over.

I try to picture this place
in winter, during a sleet storm,
the houses dreaming of
inland cities and the ponds
in the mini-golf park frozen dry —
a beach town like a shipwreck
in its wrong season,
beneath a changed sky and
so far from the sun,
it hardly exists.

One thought on “Cape May

  1. Hello May,
    I was doing a bit of research on teaching English here in Madrid and came accross your site. I am sorry for taking only a moment to look over your work but will have a more careful look afterward.
    Would you have any advice for me on finding work as an English teacher here in Madrid? I studied English at Virginia Commonwealth University, Completed a Communications program at NYU and worked as a copywriter for ten years. I am, though, here in Spain without working papers.
    Either way have a great day and thanks for sharing your writing,
    Marc

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