Haulover Beach

by Orlando Ricardo Menes

Winter waves strew seaweed on tarred sands.
Threadbare clouds vagabond in calico skies.
We wake in that backseat freckled with burns,
Your sun-bleached Nova stranded overnight
By the coconut trees, and kiss with dry lips,
Laugh at our mussy long hair like strings of yarn
Knotted in cat play, droopy eyes, lids wilted
Like wood-smoked leaves, last night’s cannabis
Censed in our clothes, our skin, our tongues
As we make love again until the window fogs,
You riding me, I riding you, sweet nothings
Garbled like the surf at low tide, our twined
Fingers light, fragile as the wings of finches,
But our legs clumsy, heavier than boughs
Of mahogany as we exhale those last breaths
Before climaxing off-key, adrift in silence.
Your body slumps, your eyes look away.
I clench your hands of stone, make promises
In haste, rescind old regrets as the last bead
Slides down the glass and the back window
Clears up like skies after a summer storm.


Orlando Ricardo Menes is a Cuban-American poet who teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of five poetry titles, most recently Heresies (University of New Mexico Press, 2015) and Fetish, winner of the 2012 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry. His newest collection, entitled Memoria, is forthcoming in 2019 from Louisiana State University Press.

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