I want to be this sandbar—
unremembered like the
shadow of a shadow, a
I left the gas stove
heated for you, and
the sink sipping love
from the faucet.
I left only ugly, chipped
cups in that kitchen,
stained with saltwater
and stars from catching
sand dollars at midnight.
Our bed is still ballooned
with sand and nightclothes,
but the curtains remain drawn,
windows locked and ignorant.
Waiting to be claimed,
I feel the ocean floor
drop into place—
it seems I may have
finally done some good.
sweat from my trembling palms
mingles with last night’s greasy rainwater
clustering there at broad and atlantic
fibers of the stoplight’s thin wire puncture
my lackluster body streamlined dancing limply
like an misshapen memory stretched out
hanging, corpse-like, on a forgotten coat hanger
but i am no corpse, my eyelids lifted and my
cheeks puffed, embracing the shrill of the wind.
cars stack in back of one another at the intersection and i see
a laboring woman with a sloped belly
nails digging into her husband, teeth gritted with discomfort
behind them, teenage lovers singing along to the radio
exchanging pale morning kisses-on-the-cheek and there
behind them are old men with the rods and bait
hanging out of the back of their pickup.
they race from below me, i am left staring
at the lane markers—would the white dirty
with a carmine slap? rusted, chipping steel of
the stoplights stinging my chapped lips
pale morning kisses-on-the-cheek and
as sweat from my trembling palms
mingles with last night’s greasy rainwater i have to
Peter LaBerge is a high school student from Connecticut. He recently received the 2012 Elizabeth Bishop Prize in Verse, after being recognized as the runner-up for the same award in 2011. He also received the 2011 Renee Duke Youth Award from Poets for Human Rights, for a sequence of poems about Cuban dissidence. Recognized both regionally and nationally in the 2011 and 2012 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, his work can be found in The Blue Pencil Online, Polyphony H.S., The Claremont Review, Prick of the Spindle, Anti-, Yemassee, ellipsis…, and elsewhere. He is the Editor-in-Chief of The Adroit Journal (http://www.adroit.co.nr), a literary magazine he founded in November 2010 to benefit charity.