Poetry By Morgan Plessner
By Morgan Plessner
They Mentioned Kilos
Taking the boys
out of the basement
and onto Seaside Heights,
I snapped my fingers
Corralling them hurry up –
while one of the tight-lipped girls
got beaten in the beach house bathroom,
her boyfriend breaking a mirror
and her fingers.
Under the curved blue neon,
the boys bought fries
cradled in white boats.
They spoke with soft, slurred Jersey ds,
talking of thousands of grams
hidden in the backalleys,
sleep-waiting under yellow pine planks,
and in curled palms.
In twelve days, a boy would
drown in the Barnegat
and we would be gone –
only tunnels of exhaust smoke left
like cyclones on the
Red, blue and unchecked
the Star Jet coaster screamed
and groups of girls,
their ash hair held
in clear plastic barrettes,
pushed past me
towards Beachcomber Bar,
$1.00 PINTS! igniting in white,
and their mild curves hugged in silk,
spoke of a beauty
invisible to the sober.
I said, “Listen, I don’t believe in much.”
I said, “I believe in peach trees, and the flies” –
the flies that stop to lick the juice
beading on the fruit skins.
I could’ve been a fly too,
visiting the sweat dewing on her pale skin
in late day heat, the drops stinging brine
rolling back the length of my tongue but
refusing her faith was my method of loving.
I packed her lunch and filled up her car
years – the daily revelations,
the sharing of the knives and pillows. But dearest,
when I am taken by your woolgathering, your mindless chatter,
it is the quiet on my end
I miss. Like nectar in the sun. Sweet things
All those roses folded in our arms
we sold them door to door
and after took turns
fishing thorns from the other’s freckled armsand counted our coins for firecrackers,
which that night banged open,
quilting the stars,
the blanks between the tree leaves
white hot with color,
our backs flat to the mowed earth.
Our backyard has grown over
though the grass still hasn’t reconciled your car
sitting stripped on cinder blocks
and the grapefruits cease holding their color
unlike their summer blush you described
in your letter, postmarked Essex County Jail–
June, whole and uncut, with
barbeques, tables with paper crepe garlands,
our father stoop drinking, watching the sprinkler
hammer the sidewalk.
But you talk from both sides of your mouth –
Like most things, you had stolen those roses.
Morgan Plessner has her B.A in English from the University of New Hampshire. She has won the Ann Pazo Mayberry Award in poetry. She is currently working on her M.F.A at UNH.