Ray Osborn

Two Beach Poems


Portrait of a Skeletal Landscape
In November the beach is separated
and parsed out by wooden stitches
that keep all of the sand from falling
into the water, to unfreeze the lake
like a monstrous pile of road salt.
I imagine that the wood and wire fence
are the outline of a body, soon to be
cookie cut from the sand, all skeletal.
Instead I am inside the fenced area
and without a way out of the folly
that is this bleached, bleak cage.
I notice how the lake has evaporated,
been replaced by crepe-paper concrete
and allotted another undone horizon.
The skeleton shakes from the sand
and I cannot figure out my molten legs.
I’m heavy and filled with warm concrete
when the dream ends where it began,
me face down in the November sand,
waking again to a repeated landscape.



Made From Sand

The shoreline hangs to dry 	a variety of dunes

         	       at the base of your neck	  and round near your chest
                                                                   where there are emotions hiding in prickly  reticence

and me 	doting on the suggestiveness of collarbone                or harder parts 	
                                                                          that might gradually

show arenas             & vistas, 	   contours 	washing up from the landscape.

I second-guess at locations and intonations:		sources of warmth; 	  you 	
     a northerly wind idly tracing me and it seems harsh		
  						but I would gladly forget you and your memory

                of me and everything indexing me           to me        to you

										        like solitude in public		

             unable to name anything outside of myself

				   since everything is of me,	always surrounding me;

me,   mistaken for the articles shed by birds on the horizon
							who shift & change in sequence	
of perceived cold fronts        into freshwater pinks, 	shoaling salmon, 	
                                                 and coral made shades	erratic, 	like 

    how I covet and save the best of myself in landscapes,	     
                                                         not lived with you	but like you: 		

        				 	    that line of dunes:	     a disguise made from skin.

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