Jul/Aug 2020  •   Poetry  •   Special Feature

the boardwalk

by Jessica Scirocco

the boardwalk

ocean arms
stretch as the sun
plays archer
with electric bolts
staining the sky
cat vomit pink.

crop tops are mating calls
averting eyes
is the way to mute lecherous
gazes. mmmm
what is that?
the scent of sugar creation
spinning wildly in a tin
cauldron. mouth flipped on
to the watering position;
you must rot out your teeth
with crunchy salted
funneling fries and molten caramel

darkness has really settled,
a giant blanket
masking the waves
across grimy sand. the boardwalk's
really kickin' now.
soon, the rickety
salt wood ends. toes touch the tip
of a sand bank. you feel invisible
as you dip a whole foot in,
then another
and break off
away from the mommies yelling at daddies
who pushcart
children instead
of a swinging,
giggling skip-walk.

ocean is
all there is
under your feet
licking your arms in windy-itch lashes.
you're starting to regret that crop top.
you've pulled it over your head
and left it in the sand behind you.
the water is a delicious
foam bath.
she rocks you to sleep
while you hope.