AT THE BREAKWATER
- The clarity of the granite, each piece fit, as if it is
- Blue, silver, red as somehow the same color
- That holds it together. Last night, I stood in the cold
- Across the street from a small white house, held
- My fingers up against waves of conversation, warm
- Light from table lamps, watched people who didn’t
- Want to go in there, but had forgotten. Listen: where
- Is the voice that lets me know I’m more than two
- Stations on the same channel, falling in
- And out of range? It was today, on the breakwater,
- A hello passed with no person walking before me or
- Rising behind. Another hello, and a string
- Of hunters appeared nestled along the base of the rocks.
- The tide low. They held green rifles. There is
- A feeling that catches up on me, walking in the heat,
- Or after too much coffee. Like the right word
- Coming to you, but without the word. I’m afraid,
- I think, of that silvery progression, my skin;
- Afraid of my spine, the way things blur. An elevator
- Door opens, and the parking garage of
- A medical center claims you could be anyone.
- But you’re not. You don’t live with a split in
- Your throat, some sentence you either can’t quite hear or
- Can’t get said, as you watch yourself from out
- On the flats, at a distance, as you shout back now,
- Before the tide comes in, while you can still turn home.
SAMUEL AMADON is the author of The Hartford Book and Like a Sea. His poems have appeared recently in The New Yorker, Poetry, American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, jubilat, and Guernica. He teaches in the MFA program at the University of South Carolina, where he edits the journal Oversound with Liz Countryman.