After Asbury


after asbury

First published in Southerly, 2014


Is that how you spell it—

    universal? It is so dead
out here, the gauze between me
    and the wind thinned

to the middle of zero
    as the fish quit dreaming
beneath the glass ponds.

Even by the shore, water
    is so slow, has fattened
into a winter body—

    wait, am I an island
yet? I left myself everywhere,
    spreading like an open hand

of sand, into new piles
    effaced by or effacing
loneliness, so what

    about now? The sun has slit
itself into a sliver, sprays
    magenta watercolour mess—

the lights of small towns fill
    me, my illusion of perimeter
dashed & now I am

    magical, finally I am
star-like. On the train from the sea
    where the casino was empty

of everything but snow, a man
    waves through the exit door
at his own reflection. I am

disappearing into the landscape
    at Penn the window whitens
and I am gone forever.