Susan Smith Nash



A seagull, swooping down

from tide-driven sky,

dragging a scrap of infinity with him –


We settled on a small picnic gazebo

shadowed by an amusement park;

rusted seesaws drowned by weeds,

and paint the color of clouds

peeling off the surface.


Alexei buckled himself in with two-year Polina

for rickety thrills on “Blue Mountain”

a series of seven tightly-bolted cars

clattering in dizzingly slow

ups and downs

the eyes of Russian grandmothers

already knowledgeable about such things,

their sons understanding only

the steep, fast descent.


And later, looking out into the bay –

Polina, Marina, and I

drank sticky, sweet plum juice

while watching the occasional swimmer

swoop down to water

like the seagulls,

and I turned around

not wanting to see

just in case he didn’t make his way

back up.