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WINTER 2019-2020


Paul Genega



the pink of our teens
had long ago popped

consuming passions
burnt down to nostalgia

era of firsts behind us
marriages, jobs, failures

we fit at last the raggedy
costume called self


in a dimming afternoon
summerscape we trudged

the lip of a sand bluff
pausing to gaze out

on Cedar Point, Maidstone,
Gardiners Bay, Shelter Island

in the amethyst distance
Orient, disease-frizzed Plum


lee path choked with grape vine
bittersweet, pitch pine, rose

windward, sheer drop
to a shell encrusted beach

blackbacks, scoters, plovers
ancient skiff with rusted oarlocks

splintered starboard gunwale
fisherwind rising for to ferry us away


all this long ago, before
the potato fields were blighted

before the hypno-rich arrived
to claim the sea as their mirror

but I see us again there
and then, see how young 

we were without knowing it
how happy, without a clue


how beautiful that day
that shimmering stretch

of sea sand, perched high
on the shifting lip of it

the silence sweet and salty
with all the time in the world

to say what needed to be said
all the time that never was

Paul Genegahas appeared in a range of literary mags over the years, including The Nation, North American Review and Narrative Northeast. He has been the recipient of a number of awards, including Charles Angoff Award from The Literary Review and an individual fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. For many years he taught at Bloomfield College in New Jersey, where he founded the creative writing program and served as chair of Humanities.






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