Bio Note: Born and raised in Coney Island, I'm a Coney Island patriot. And a squash racquets fanatic. My headstone is to read, "One More Game?" I am the author of Collected Poems 1954-2004 (Schocken Books 2004) and Usable Truths: Aphorisms & Observations (Waywiser Press 2019).
Brighton Beach Local, 1945
Hot Saturday expands toward twilight, Spacious and warm. Their train, at the end of the line, Haltingly departs from Coney Island, And settles, after an initial whine, To a lulling commotion, with which they, too, move, He sixteen, she almost a year older; They have been swimming and are in love, And sit touching and rocking together. Exercised and sober, their bodies are Rested, tingling, refreshed and grave, compel The tautened skin; he is freckled, Her complexion of the Crimea Is healthy olive-and-rose, her frequent smiles Transcend what is perhaps a pout or the faint Ruminative suckling of a child; A severe and orphan dress disdains The completed opulence of her body. Stretching, They vie in banter with sunburned strangers nearby, Break off, having acquitted themselves With honor. Pride completes their pleasure. They are indeed proud: of being lovers, Of their advanced and noble sympathies, Their happiness, their languorous wit That mocks at dignity, ripens pleasure, And candles the failure in these faces, then Restores their opacity with kindly justice --- Imagining their competence exceeds Every foreseeable occasion. These are young gods defining love, banqueting On glances and whispered smiles and amiable Raillery, and believe inexhaustible Their margin for error, and summon back The solicitous waiter, command another course Of immortal tenderness and levity, Drunk and dazzled with love, twining fingers On a summer evening after the War. Fixed in force, the train persists on the ways, Its windows intersect the streaming darkness; Their expanding revery engages Almost the first apparent stars. A cunning and subterranean will Even now detaches them toward other destinies, Misery, impatience, division that shall Complete their present and mutual ignorance.
©2021 Irving Feldman
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