I like to think of us on the island
at the same time.
You, a reedy, long-haired teenager,
sneak off the mainland with fellow drifters
to hitch rides and camp along the Airport Road.
You find a perfect spot beneath the pines
that smell like butter to drink beer, smoke weed,
make up Sci-Fi stories
about naked alien women
trapped inside constellations in the night sky.
Me still a kid, sand in my bathing suit,
I pick fights with my sisters in the wayback
of our mom’s station wagon. We sing along to Johnny Nash:
“I can see clearly now
the rain is gone.”
Some mornings I believe the kiss and the sentence
once lived in the same house.
They had separate bedrooms connected by a breezeway.
The island shines in October.
The car flies through the woods.
Our father will be landing soon
for the last time here.
The whole purpose of a swing
is to get higher and higher.
I know that now.
I wish my mother would pick up hitchhikers.
I would make room for you
between the squeaky Styrofoam cooler
and loud striped beach umbrella.
She never stops.
I wave to you as we drive by.
I swear I see you wink back
as you are reduced to a speck
of space dust that vanishes
as soon as it appears.
leaves streaks on the rear side window
that doesn’t open.
They call this confessional
poetry. I always liked the ritual.
Those upright coffins—so hot and dark inside.
A screen panel slides open. A disembodied voice floats in.
A wild cackle bounces off nave walls outside.
I swear I hear you say you want to be a priest
the way I insist I will become a nun.
Use kiss in a sentence. Every other word disintegrates,
so the body can remember
when we meet for real.