Magazine article The Nation

Eastham Sonnets

Magazine article The Nation

Eastham Sonnets

Article excerpt

1 Fishermen drag in the tide. Their reels sound like gulls. Clam-diggers forsake their spit of muck for the cold sand where you and I walk barefoot, against the flag-flapping wind. Do they guess this is a "romanic weekend" for us or do they think two women cannot ache that way? You will not take my hand in public, afraid of the fishermen's reprimand. I think this fear in you is what disturbs me most, this desire for us to act like fugitives. The hermit crab teaches you a lesson not meant for us. Love, why must you listen? All around us lies the wreckage of lives, shells abandoned like poisoned suburbs. 2 Enameled crabs are strewn in brittle constellations on the beach. The bleached clams are dented moons. Their astrology is subtle, every planet makes a tidal claim. I wonder as we walk which one you will choose. Gulls' prints decorate the wet flat in hieroglyphs that look like birds themselves, fifth-grade arrows chasing the clouds. We follow their path as if at the end we, too, might take flight. Thirteen summers ago I rescued a gull here which died on the way to the Audubon station. I made love with a boy on these dunes. The shore is a palimpsest of loss; nothing resists synthesis. But the sea has no pity for the sacrifice. 3 Sea grass rattles in the dunes, silver, overexposed, a drained monochrome. It gathers the sand in its hairy weir with a gray grasp. My claim to you is the same tentative clasping. Wellfleet's foghorn booms an elegy over the filled-in bay. Dusk shuts its blue shutters against the storm. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.