Nocturne: Coronado Bay

by D.S Waldman

Far dryness of the moon, cold
                                                                and hanging.
Its distortion

                on the sea.  Time and again the same
                                bridge; time

and its counterpart,
                                Walk from here to there
without breathing

—time.  Now, without
                                thinking, walk back—distance.

                A shape collapses where your body
                                                used to be,
a short distance between

                                the head’s vacancy
and the pavement.
                                And it changes—far off, unseen,

                the tide-raked shore—over time.

A small city, a necklace
                                of lights whose flicker reminds
                you, immutable,
                                                of a wedding.
Of a future whose past you are
                stuck conceiving.

                                                You turn and call
a name out over
                water—distance.  Hard

                                and unbounded.  You lose
the name
from language—time.  In another
                                                                language, silm:
moonglitter on the sea.  Sex, too

—the water there.

                                Longing, you heard, is a bridge
                free-standing—the long cold

                of its girders, wires suspended
                                                just so—its length

                to the endurance of
its maker. You
                                                have walked it enough
                times, down and back, breathing

and not, to know that

                you didn’t build this bridge—to know
                                                that collapse, its odd

                                                                in the mouth, is just
                another word for proof: turn,

look back as
                                you walk, see

                                the darkness that’s allowed
                                                you here—that has

                                allowed you. See it there.

See how

                it spits you out.

D.S. Waldman is a Marsh-Rebelo scholar at San Diego State University. His work has most recently appeared or is forthcoming in Kenyon Review, Georgia Review, Poetry Northwest, Gettysburg Review, Copper Nickel, Colorado Review, Missouri Review, Southern Humanities Review, and Cherry Tree. He’s received fellowships, support, and awards from Middlebury College, Kenyon Review summer workshops, San Diego State University, and Georgia Review.