jouer au flipper

by Samuel Hovda

1.

The woman waits on the shore.

She hears the waves’ song and finds it rough like sand on a lover’s skin.

She cannot displace the noise with her own words.

Such news admits no modulation.

 

If she could learn the ocean’s song,

Would it matter? And what then of the men

Who make their way to the beach

To hear the live performance?

 

The night arrives like a dirty rag.

What’s left is a cry that’s almost human.

 

2.

Miss Ocean, I cannot kill the moon-skinned beasts

That come at night to your edge

To lament their eventual deaths and yours.

 

The way they howl: such sin,

How they try to replace lost signs with the same old sounds.

 

3.

We hide in the shadows of dead men.

We shine in the light of dead stars.

We echo sounds that live only in reverberation

Like a pinball that slams against each bumper

And illuminates the machine one section at a time.

 

 

Samuel Hovda is an undergraduate at Winona State University, where he studies literature and creative writing. He hopes to be at an MFA program next fall. You can find him at https://twitter.com/samuelhovda

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