You tell me you smell
the ocean on my shirt,
that it smells like the steam
of a squawking seagull’s breath.
You always tell me
things like this.
I believe
you mean well,
but the summer heat shatters
my belief into broken seashells.
In the distance we see,
splayed on the shore
in a circle, a marriage of empty
beach chairs and sand. We step
past lounges to the tiki bar
and order a round,
hoping to find forgiveness
for crimes committed
against each other in the plastic
cups of Tito’s on ice,
floating limes acting
as mediators. Bob Marley
tells us every little thing
will be alright
, but the salt-crusted
speakers distort his words.
I ask the bartender to keep
our tab open. A dragonfly settles
on your sunburned shoulder,
droning in for its landing like sunset.
I know a dragonfly’s
surprise arrival symbolizes luck,
yet I whisk it off your shoulder
with the disregard
of a drunk crashing
to depths deeper
than a damp tiki bar floor.

David Colodney is the author of the chapbook, Mimeograph (Finishing Line Press, 2020). A two-time Pushcart nominee, his poems have appeared in The South Carolina Review, Panoply, Eunoia Review, Causeway Lit, and The Chaffin Journal, among others. David holds an MFA from Converse College, and lives in Boynton Beach, Florida, with his wife, three sons, and Golden Retriever.

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