Coarse and Close

in the bus with the same pattern in carpet on every seat
a pale woman with long fingernails and closing eyes
we are jostled to the beach
sun caking our legs and foreheads
marching on asphalt, on wood, on sand that burns me
in pictures I am a slightly yellowy pale little body
posing with doll eyes
many hands reaching out towards me
a small fish
next to the pier and the old casino
i have a beer and a plate of heavily fried tiny sardines
i smile and nod and receive gestures of love
i am told I should get married here
i look just like a miniature version of my father
we use the refrigerator liberally
the peaches must be eaten the same day
taste like the sun
crackling, bursting pavement and
buildings the color of dust
if you slid your finger against them they could crumble
they could also hold you
they look like laundry and plants
sound like slapping a carpet against the balcony
to get the dust out
to clear the dust from all i know of here
all of the people who have birthed me
to the hotel, the pharmacy,
where my grandmother sold candy for her father in the afternoon after school
to the sun bleached roads that carry
to the heavy roads
the heavy sands where tiny lilies grow
paper thin
blowing around but somehow
rooted in the sand that were once rocks
drinking the salt of the sea
salt can be sold
can be held and can hold you
it levitates me here
the only things i eat that are sweet come from the ground
come up from the ground and hang around me
the smashed figs bake and crystallize blue purple and amber
we bake here
i bake all these things into one whole bread
and i sit, waiting for the sea to wink at me between the high rises



Rosa Bozhkov is a poet and painter from Nyack, NY. She has had two poems and a painting published in the Vassar Student Review.



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