Construction Literary Magazine

Fall 2019

Beyond; Dead Sea

Beyond; Dead Sea
Photograph via Flickr by NOAA Photo Library


             ~Krabi, Thailand 2013

The bed smells of coconut milk.
             Tide washes through open-fingered
                           mangrove roots, leaving a lacy stitch
with each wave
              as a fisherman heaves
                          his long boat onto the beach.

An acacia tree shades
             the gardenia bush beside
                          a pink house on stilts,
                                       salt air.

A boy riding a lemon-colored motorbike,
             drops boxes of peppers
                          at the kitchen door.
                                       Across the road,
the sign stabbed
             into the grass warns
                           Entering Tsunami
                           Hazard Zone

Edging the jungle,
             a golden girl
                          nests in the pungent
                                       branches of a mango tree.
She sees beyond
              even the ocean’s edge.

Dead Sea

            ~West Bank, Israel 1979

Jordanian border guards stand
in relief against an ochre sky, the Dead Sea—
warm water stings like nettles.
I float like the dead,
lick salt crust off my skin.

~Rift Valley, Jordan 2007

My body’s charcoal with mud.
As it dries, I scan the horizon for Israel’s
soldiers patrolling, but the sun blots
distance. Dead Sea washes
mud away, decades of mud.