Myrtle Beach, Spring 2011 by Jay Douglas

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Myrtle Beach, Spring 2011

Sometimes I go back
to the sea
and imagine you there
with me instead of her

stern, solemn frown watching me
watch the dragons
chase each other from cloudy sky
to rolling surf

the vast expanse of black
blending the horizon with the blank of space
cold sand hard against our toes
footprints licked clean by the rising tide
Suppose we are all infinite

Suppose in this imagined memory the wind blew
fishtailing your red-brown hair
around your face and whipping it
into your eyes

Suppose we found a peace and understanding
Suppose the sand castles built themselves
half kicked-over, walls caved-in

Suppose there were falling stars
pretty as a postcard
instead of homeless, barefoot beggars
and it all came easily

these are the sorts of wishes I make
on birthday candles
things like: to know the name of the Sea

and by that I don’t mean the word “Sea”
or the names the ancients gave
to various expanses of water
but the name the Sea calls itself
when it lays down to sleep
We all have secret names

When our layers of identity are stripped away
the names are what we have left
Suppose you knew mine
and I yours
The names no tongue can form to speak
that the Sea whispers
to the Wind
and the Wind to the clouds
so that they might divine our fortunes
for those who know how to read them
as the dragons race on
under a bright spring moon
sprinting from shore to sky to shore
cresting foam on the horizon

Jay Douglas

Jay Douglas is a recent graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Jay has a dual degree in Religious Studies and English, an affinity for odd music and found sounds, and an intimidating yo-yo collection. Jay’s work has previously been published in Words Dance, Rising Phoenix Review, and Red Flag Poetry.