From the sidelines, it appears to be a game called happiness. There’s an assemblage of 24+ sun-struck selfies, showing spicy tacos and industrial-strength margaritas. Someone asks about the weather, the water, the sticky sand stuck in between toes. The husband sleeps off the end of the year under a baseball cap. The wife sips and reads. The children look bored; squinting at a cruise ship in the distance. They decide to take a walk. Where are you going? Nowhere. Here, take this Solo cup and collect some sea-glass for me—shades of blue to remind us of this time together.
M. J. Iuppa lives on a small farm near the shores of Lake Ontario. She is Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Minor at St. John Fisher College. Her lyric essays have appeared in In Brief: Short Takes on the Personal, edited by Mary Paumier Jones and Judith Kitchen (Norton, 1999), Short Takes: Brief Encounters with Contemporary Nonfiction, edited by Judith Kitchen (Norton, 2005) and Brief Encounters: A Collection of Contemporary Nonfiction, edited by Judith Kitchen and Dinah Lenney (Norton, 2015), and her recently released third full-length poetry collection Small Worlds Floating (Cherry Grove Collections, August 2016).