Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Fire Island

1. Sayville Ferry

It is to be a short crossing from Long
xxxxxIsland to Fire
xxxxxIsland, the sun
a tent on the steel field that is the sea.
All is ready for a mythology,
including the shortness of the crossing.

But the idea, island, acquires a face,
xxxxxthe white and red
xxxxxstripes of Cherry’s
Bar, the rainbow flag, and the Stars and Stripes,
and, nearer still, the beach hotel, which pipes
Madonna’s biggest hits from the eighties.

Soon I will be landing, trying my feet
xxxxxon the boardwalk,
xxxxxtrying the key
to the air-conditioned standard room
sleep and, hopefully, sex will make a home,
and hours of existential defeat.

Now to face the arrogant survivors
xxxxxappraising the
xxxxxpale arrivals—
bronze helmets of seasonal residents,
bronze shields of departing experience—
“We found the fire. We are burned. Here it is.”

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