Bright (bright) Bright (bright) Sunshiny Day

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.

It’s August.
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.

Memory residue
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.

5 thoughts on “Bright (bright) Bright (bright) Sunshiny Day

  1. Outside of a few inexplicable editorial choices in journals over the last few years, and one recent book done by a wonderful letterpress publisher, I have gone the self-publishing route for poetry, some of my heroes being Blake, Cummings, Whitman, self publishers all at one point or another, and having a bit of history in growing that market. Good luck in those contests! Your work is great and I hope it gets some additional recognition and readership that way.


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