Winter 2006-7

Malaya Macdonald


There were weathered crosses and white butterflies
the ocean rolled in at its side
the field retreated to a distance safe from its frothy reach
it was a dead beach, except for the butterflies
they sang on their wings, and their songs were tremoring with life
the green-veined whites were striped lampshades for the light
and they sat on wild pink stands that were triangles turned upside-down
and had strands like bushy haircuts
the orange tips were dipped in cuts of good marmalade
and held close to the mouths of the white flowers that watched the seaside
clouded yellows with their two single spots and their light green eyes
the same as the cats with the apricot coats that wandered in there from the farms down the rough
and the lemons with their perfect points, they called them brimstone
and they lived up to the name, they crowded at the lights of the otherwise dark and stony
churches in the late, late summer
before they would make their way to the dead beach to sing with their wings of life like violins
and they had many winded songs
there were small whites like appaloosas kissing yellow flowers without a sting
they flew from their garden ranches to the beach
but what she remembered mostly were the whites
the blemished beauties of the field and of that ocean
full of devotion to their task and a deep breath of motion
hovering around the circle around a cross
weaving in and out of its quasi-crescent spaces
they were martyrs and graces in the faces of the scribes
they were dead-beach language and music
they were fiddles and whistles of a young, green nation
handed down to them by a group of their own warring tribes

Malaya Macdonald has a master's in journalism from Northwestern University. She has been published in several publications, including Walt's Corner/Long Islander and the Orphan Leaf Review.



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