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The Lobsterman and the Lorelei


Ashly Kim

i am hungering
with pinprick eyes for your trawler on that skyline.
ball of banana taffy sunshine turns rain into
the shimmering dog days of day-trippers.
our shipwreck town undrowned for the summer.
women in #vitaminsea sundresses
mistake lapping 9am mimosas for undertow
and a blistering hotel pool for the nip of a green tide.
five-dollar painted hermits given melted ice cream,
with a plastic straw, until they starve.
threadbare teddy bears for ten bucks and a well-aimed dart.
umbrellas stubble the shoreline until i can’t see sand.
shells crushed and spit into more salt mist,
beneath the weight of wine coolers in rolling iceboxes.
a blue bikini dips into the riptide,
beckoning for a sunken jolly sailor bold,
or brawny lifeguard, to buoy her body back to shore.
and i am smoldering
in the promenade fever,
spellbound by the swell of saltwater around so many bodies.
our anchorage a boil of funnel cake and lemonade.
shredded flip-flops abandoned.
babies stranded by strollers sunk deep.
and i am withering
in this squall of boardwalk fanfare,
even as i wade waist-deep into the foam.
please come home.

Ashly Kim is an over-caffeinated Philadelphian and weekend fishmonger. When not adventuring with her two kids, she enjoys tacos and hoarding books like a literary dragon. Her recent writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Stanchion, Southchild Lit, Wyrd & Wyse, and Hungry Ghost Magazine. Find Ashly online @ashlykimchi.

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