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Two Poems by Sarah V. Schweig

BRIGHTON BEACH (II)

A boy is burying his sister.
They are playing at being dead.
(I cannot forget Breakneck Ridge.)

A girl is burying her brother.
They are playing. They scream
and he rises and is buried again.

A woman is being photographed.
She is pregnant and wants to remember.
She smiles wide for the lens.

R is reading. I want to get drunk
and swim in the sea. My skin
is turning red. (I cannot forget

Breakneck Ridge.) Children run to and from
the breaking water, the stronger pushing
the weaker ones in,

the weaker ones resisting
before they succumb, mouths full
of sand and water. (I cannot forget.)

When I’d come here, I’d come here
anxious, alone, and searching,
when I was younger. I want to remember.

Now, I bury my legs in sand, playing
at something. R takes a picture
of me, smiling. Yes, we want to remember

Brighton in summer, not how
we’ve betrayed our friend (by forgetting) who
betrayed us (by jumping

from Breakneck Ridge).
As soon as we rise up we begin
falling. Yes,

a boy is burying his sister.

 

A DEPARTURE

Will it rain

I do not feel
Like it will rain

*

It rains
You are packing old things

Rain lightens

I did not feel
Like it would lighten

*

You came to the city
And now you’re leaving

All the offices
Of drenched things

Of entrenched things
Attempt after attempt

You are packing
Music playing

In the park
To the Staying

Music plays
I do not feel

Lights go off
In all the offices

I do not feel
Grief will lighten

*

It lightens
In the falling dark

In the nothing-place
Where lightning

Bugs ignite
And music goes on

You’re leaving

*

I’m folding your leaving
Into the nothing-feeling

Will it lighten
Will it lighten