The Resort

By Preston Martin

He paces, half naked,
across his second-floor balcony,
phone against his ear.

A translucent mist moves on shore,
the swoosh of high tide hardly heard
across mannered dunes.

As the day moon hangs
over his building fresh sunlight sinks
low in the moist air like a lemon slice in soda,
sparkling dewy marigolds, dollar weeds.

The man paces, turns, punctuates
thoughts with a free hand, either
pleading or singing into the phone.
Please

let it be to an old love,
who loved him on this beach, loved him once,
on a tender morning like this morning.

Still now, he stares at the phone,
as if it were sentient, caring,
as if the conversation still goes on,

as if the greater part of life
isn’t our suitcase of memories,
handled everywhere,
the calling back
of times slipped through fingers,
the calling back
what can’t come back.


Preston Martin has published in New Ohio Review, Iodine, Tar River Poetry, Chaffin Journal, Kakalak, Appalachian Heritage, Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel and other journals. He has poems in Every River on Earth: writings from Appalachian Ohio (Ohio University Press) and other anthologies. He lives in Chapel Hill, NC.

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