I couldn’t have more than one soft drink.
You weren’t in the mood to dance.
We might’ve lost the seashell you sent last Christmas/

They won’t replace it at the store.
All morning the cartoon koala. Essential oil.
I couldn’t have been clear about what I wanted;

you weren’t nodding or saying, I got it, we might’ve
known the ocean is a flak jacket,
taking rounds of “They won’t,” bodies returned

to shore all morning, bloated sand
washed from our glasses—better to eye
the wave rolling back/

into itself—blubber and blood
towed from our mouths.
The crustaceans croon

for slices of light, for young bare feet
and what do we do but follow
the footprints               never leaving

the beach. Cooler of sodas and boom box
for dancing. It’s Christmas, and the tree is a sand
castle. I bought the world

so now it’s my store—my koala
mimicking itself in the glass pane.
All morning the plankton and I

tried to empty the sand of its coffer
moist dollars, to feel and fossil.

disgraced-spaceman.JPG Image courtesy of Connie Reyes


You can see barn wreckage
cropping the rise. Great-grandpa
tilled this sorry soil he slouches
over. Not looking for jettisoned

reentry scrap; mere roaming.
You can see a grainy beard, wisps
surfing the breeze. The first
commander discharged—hocking

ears of corn without intergalactic
tariffs. A little space-oil on the side,
moon-boot thrusters, rings carved
from Saturn’s surface. You can

see the rocket cattails
tower-humped in the swooning dale:
what excrement provides gratis.
The cow-trail a mystery no sleuth

hankers after. You can see moonbeams
cluster on his glass eye. You can see
how words miss his mouth; lank dome
of gravity’s arm-bar spidering earth.

Twitter: @hambonini

Facebook: Matthew Schmidt

Cover Photo courtesy of Chris Cresci