April 1998 / Volume One / Issue Two
Vladimir Swirynsky
Lido Beach

I'm sitting on this crumpled
break wall watching the freezing surfers
As night and day recycle, needing
to hear the precious laughter of people
The sun setting--
small broken shells tumble ashore
under a moonless night

Lazy touristshave no patience, little
tolerance for imperfection, toss
these shells back giving
this poet something to write about

On the beach, vanity casts the first stone
This white skin needing to shed the
bitterness of middle age

My bones are wounds that need healing
My mind easily falling prey to
the schemes of medicine men
Who still offer the impossible--
but at a much higher price

Much later--
drinking, happier, forgotten the long
battle with winter
I watch old women pull
up their bosoms, to dance and
shake their old foundations
Surprising all of us with their
bursts of mayhem and energy

Late at night, sunburned,
doors locked, sorting thru a new
batch of lies to write on postcards
Still hoping for that
chance encounter

Drunken, we fall asleep
Not realizing that we're chasing
illusions, Even if they become a
reality-- we will not be happy
What we have someone else has
either cursed or has been
blessed to accept--
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