Laura Creste '13
August is good because we are freed from the idea of dying.
The only time I can stand to eat a tomato or think about the rest of my life
is the summer. I would swim through the bay into the inlet
my father forbid me from entering. Kids had drowned
that summer but not here. The senseless dangers – there was once
a swan that drowned a two-year-old. The blue stand off Montauk highway
is swollen with fruit, wet in their blue square boxes,
homemade $15 pies, and the sour local yogurt.
The sun on our legs is sweet and there is no meaner trick
than skin cancer. The lifeguard has been dead for one year.
He was young, he fell asleep under a sun lamp once,
and fifty years later he died from it. His wife sits alone
under the umbrella. She braids her long gray hair
and used to put sunflower seeds in her chocolate chip cookies.
I turn sharply on the road and blackberries roll across the seats.
The strawberries bruise sugared red. Ripeness peaks, will rot
tomorrow. The bay spills out from the highway:
the deep calm of the water even in the off season. Relentless,
they don’t need appreciation to continue. They break the shore, the sky grays,
winds whip damp hair into a salted tangle. Your breath catches
in your throat to see the ledges carved out. Children walk the line
to collapse, unsure if the point is to keep going or learn to fall.