The Sea is My Friend – Ashley Escobar


tip trick frozen feet
I am lying down on a
bed of someone’s hair clips lust

evinces itself reappears & disappears
tulsa takes me by surprise –– I
debunk in the bunker thoughts
of elliott smith’s suicide next to a bag of rice & goya beans

kevin said goodbye
and so did I (slow down traffic reiterate truths)
in-between sips of under-sugared tea

tossing and turning,
he asked, city girl–– do you need your rest?
as you set aside binoculars losing sight of the moon

(does the city
cradle your head?)

I piled letters,

I piled oranges

I picked your front door lock to sit
patiently on your kitchen floor.

heroin confessional
inside a wooden wardrobe flickering led lights voyeurism
is outdated or did I
stab his cancerous heart?

does the ocean swallow and spit your insides?

(do you notice it at all?)

to be a small town of drunkards & regulars
to be flat with nothing hovering over you––except a union party flag
to lug logs, fuck hogs––i foraged the tarmac for any sign of

fort lauderdale
& sunshine
(you were sunshy carving windows on concrete walls)

the sea is my friend
it shrieks
tremors of the nocturnal kind

just a photograph I didn’t think to ask for a retake.



Only tomorrow and today is today––
You cut your hair on the first of false spring.
Rusty scissors over a vigil of starfish and glass,
You thought Mother had fixed the rickety swing.
Easter as silent as your curls in the litter. Dusk
evinces our distrust of being anything less

than second-rate scavengers, hopeless,
doomed to making sacraments every day.
Fully clothed men unappeased by dusk.
Sacrificial honey moon from my bedspring.
I caught a glimpse of you on the porch swing,
thinking of nothing but an opening by Philip Glass.

My sunflowers died first, I traded the glass
for something warmer than your insides. Mindless
pulsating in an air-conditioned room, mood swings
trade places with motherly instincts until doomsday.
I remember, brother, when your hair was long. Spring
came later than usual, braids to touch at dusk

when owls eradicated any sense of luck. Not that dusk,
the one before. Donny was quiet, he showed us sea glass
his mother had saved when she was a girl in a white dress in spring
and the only hints of snow were frosted animal crackers. Loveless,
Donny told us he could hear waves overcome him. Donny was on holiday
when he pulled up my white dress. He must have confused our swing

with those you find in b&bs. When I think of Florida, I don’t think of our swing.
I think of palm trees and supermarkets, of wet hot sand, pinkness at dusk––
Donny must have learned from you, to come inside, like you came yesterday
and Mother couldn’t hear you over the sound of a smashing wine glass.
I tugged your hair but didn’t tell you to stop, your crushing weight left me gutless.
Donny did not moan like you, his was softer than flowers thawing in spring.

I did not want change, for winter thoughts to melt into cruel springs.
Donny moving to Florida to capture those greens and blues. Us on the swing
under evening hues. I’m scared for you to learn to drive, to be hapless,
sucking as you steered. I let you, didn’t I? Would you drive at dusk?
I have a carrier pigeon heart. Not yours, or Donny’s. It belongs to windows and glass,
shadows behind my bed frame. I don’t want to hear the word eggs today.

You cut your hair on my thirteenth birthday––
Donny used to call us twins, before he lost his sea glass.
When I thought I was a prophet of lost faith, every dusk.