20 January 2006

Chris Forhan

[from The Actual Moon, the Actual Stars by Chris Forhan]

The Coast of Oklahoma

Oh to stroll the Oklahoma coast
now that the hollyhock is in bloom and my love has returned
and her hair’s in my tub
and her smudged socks clutter the bedroom floor
and her Subaru leaks its indiscreet spot
of oil in the driveway. All my ripe desire
is plucked—I’m left to think
of what cannot be had and feel its lack
like an intoxicant. Oh to pack
a big picnic and explore
the brackish shallow tidepools
of the Tulsa Gulf, where the skittery sandpiper
makes his earnest rounds, and gulls
wheel and pivot overhead, where after a rain
the waves are grayish-blue
and the jagged Alps of Iowa rise
in the north like a kept promise. I miss
already that pebbled stretch of sand
I’ve yet to see, my love
hunched against some salty gust
as she tests the water with a naked foot. O
Oklahoma shore, the mere thought of you
is enough to render charmless
the Hanging Gardens of Utah
and shame Orlando’s grand canals.

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