POETRY


Lincoln Beach

land you can almost access, broken
fence to a dropping, you live
half forgotten, homestead to broken glass
trimming the tree line, come up
one end or the other
a song strung on letters laid down over time
code so loud, the stars tremble against
like a caught throat universes
calling us home
beyond all we see familiar, anywhere
was safer than the land colonized here
the decibel of time speeds down, parallel
to this watched point, some violence sacred
whispering rush of traffic beyond a sea wall
stacked on a levee never built to protect us
& how our dollars were swallowed
by the poison they fed us—that there is never
enough—when all there is—is enough
like a trap crabbed, beauty was our everyday
broken cars & half burnt down houses
we photographed like family, wildflowers
by the rail in soft focus so you feel alive inside
this promise of death
time came for us beyond labels stacked
for every soul is spoken for, the length of it secrets
spoonfuls of close calls we warriored in spaces
marked trespass inside the globe, snowed
some paint across gravel, marked names in time’s edging
do you think they see the SOS of it but let us linger
some parenting by neglect can feel like love
if that’s all you get here—one circle at a time
around the star that held us 

—Megan Burns


illustration by Happy Burbeck