HISTORY ISLAND

Fall 2014 / Issue 96

Thomas Lux

None of us go there anymore.

It’s a defunct resort

town in winter. The rust-colored sea’s thick waves roll over

sideways, slowly. The boardwalk collapsed

and was hacked into fist-sized chunks—to sell

as pieces of The True Boardwalk, reliquarilly.

The Old Hotel, after the termites ate their fill,

became (and turned the same color as) the potbelly

of dirt on a grave. Still pink, the pink

of a pint of blood in five gallons of water,

the cotton candy wagon’s cotton candy maker spins

not a skein, not an airy thread.

That man with eight-foot stiff-kneed legs is gone, his hat now

a blacked-out lighthouse

at the end of the stubby shorebreak.

A whole generation, or two, came here

in the years between the wars.

It was as if certain things never happened.

The whole island is an under-lit room.

You’re in it, now, we’re all in it now,

and an eight-foot bucksaw

leans, more than a little bowed, cocked, taut

against a wall.