Seaside At Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer From here everyone is recreating except those guys flossing a pool or those guys blowing lawn clippings into the waves or those missionaries in suits or those refugees in rags standing at our threshold addressing us in the water letting us swim saying with their faces, we hate to bother you.
Sailing At Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer The freckles on her legs sparkle in the sun. In the sailboat she’s pink with youth, on the shore she’s 52. I work the lines. My right hand is relaxed, my left, delicate on the rudder. I’m working the rudder like a clitoris aiming thrust just right. Watch the sail quake, tremble, buck the speed’s too much for the rudder—it snaps off in my hand— the vessel whips in a circle and flips us. My lover’s not fazed as the water’s warm and she’s been thrown from boats before.
A Worrisome Spill of Mountain and Cloud My spouse on the sofa typing furiously on her phone chewing the inside of her cheek balancing something sad behind her eyes. Is she worrying about Lois passing in and out, is she wishing I was disposable, is she wishing she were somewhere else— I can’t tell, I’m in the kitchen, so many human steps away. If I was her I’d rent a canoe in Arles and float the Rhône River. Here’s the pictures I’d take: rock, sand, water, two cigarette butts forming a T on the pebbled bank. After two weeks I’d return lonely enough to sit down beside her to ask her, what’s wrong?
Tim Staley was born in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1975. His debut poetry collection, Lost On My Own Street, was published by Pski’s Porch in 2016. His newest poetry chapbook, The Most Honest Syllable Is Shhh, is forthcoming from Night Ballet Press. He founded Grandma Moses Press in 1992, and currently serves as publisher. He completed a Poetry MFA from New Mexico State University in 2004. He lives with his wife and daughter in the American stretch of the Chihuahuan Desert. His hobbies include thinking, nachos and waiting.