Construction Literary Magazine

March 2019: Conflict & Displacement

Burning Wild Turkey at Rondeau Beach

Burning Wild Turkey at Rondeau Beach
Beach Party

The sand of Lake Erie burned
with a poured slick of wild turkey, lit
by the triangled end of your clove cigarette.
And beyond the middle row of breakers
half grown men leapt from submerged
picnic tables. A storm out past Long Point
forced the lake up against the beach line.
And they crash into the surf proclaiming
with each jackknife splash that Bonzo never died
and this young world belonged solely to them.

We cheered on those men of ours
that were willing to battle
the chest high waves, and lash back
at the cast-offs of that distant storm.
Our backs to the thicket of Carolinean
forest and the flat gravel campground
it was built around, we cheered them on
with the heater of that last cigarette.
And we both agreed that Presence
wasn’t as bad an album as we had once
believed.

And the turkey burned dimly against
the urgency of distant and trailing lightning.
Burned against the absence of rain.
Burned and lit the edges of cool sand blue.
We laughed because we were beyond
the drunkenness of that vile booze, laughed
because we felt some of us were beating
back the lines of the storm. You and I shared
the dense spice of the same cigarette.
But we didn’t lose our shirts,
or swim out to those submerged tables.
We dug our feet into the sand
and tried to imagine the delicacy
of our friends’ battles; Their dance and dives
and yells at a storm as it retreated north
following the edge of the lake
towards the rolling surf,
I heard you hum the refrain from
Fool in the Rain as you handed me
the last nub of cigarette
and the lines of flame fell
into the blue sand shadows
above our feet.