At week’s end the ferry boat line was
miles long and we measured it in music
from AM radio. Your last damp act was
to steal the beach house key as I stepped
barefoot over summer’s sandburred yard.

We breathed fast with that building for
seven short days. Years later a storm would
take it to sea. Time tossed it like driftwood
for some dreamer dressed like me to take back
and line a mantle. Make an altar of ego or age.

An apt end to days we buried our noses in
beach house books. Didn’t it feel like we adlibbed
each hour? Built a habitat of hammock, tide
and bone. Porch slats cast shadows on ghost crabs
while our bodies blistered and twisted atop sandy

sheets. My palms cupped your tan freckled shoulders
the way a child softly molds a mollusk to her ear
and hears the ocean– an echo of great Gulf storms.
The kind that bring boys from Bellaire with long
boards to fly dangerously near the Flagship Hotel.

That is what we were like all summer– unhinged.
Now we are shells of our soft-bodied selves,
already at some endless autumn on the mainland.
We left it all behind in a ferry boat line. Crossed
an ocean to gather our new hollow homes.
~ ~ ~

Lorena Parker Matejowsky grew up on the Gulf of Mexico and now lives near the Atlantic Ocean. Her poems have also appeared in Rattle, Rise Up Review, Sinking City, Mothers Always Write and more. She is a poetry student in the Creative Writing MFA program at University of Central Florida, where she reads for The Florida Review. Her work is deeply informed by the southern U.S., 1970/1980s pop culture, narratives of feminine identity and faith. She still rides ferry boats. Twitter @LorieMatejowsky