NOCTURNE: CORONADO by D.S Waldman

Far dryness of the moon, cold 

and hanging.  

Its distortion 

on the sea. Time and again the same 

bridge; time 

and its counterpart, 

distance.  

Walk from here to there 

without breathing

—time. Now, without 

thinking, walk back—distance.  

A shape collapses where your body 

used to be, 

a short distance between 

the head’s vacancy 

and the pavement.  

And it changes—far off, unseen, 

the tide-raked shore—over time.  

A small city, a necklace 

of lights whose flicker reminds 

you, immutable, 

of a wedding.  

Of a future whose past you are 

stuck conceiving.  

You turn and call 

a name out over 

water—distance. Hard 

and unbounded. You lose 

the name 

from language—time. In another 

language, silm: 

moonglitter on the sea. Sex, too

—the water there.  

Longing, you heard, is a bridge 

free-standing—the long cold 

of its girders, wires suspended 

just so—its length 

equal 

to the endurance of 

its maker. You 

have walked it enough 

times, down and back, breathing

and not, to know that 

you didn’t build this bridge—to know 

that collapse, its odd 

danger 

in the mouth, is just 

another word for proof: turn, 

look back as 

you walk, see 

the darkness that’s allowed

you here—that has

allowed you. See it there.  

See how 

it spits you out.  

D.S. Waldman is a Marsh-Rebelo scholar at San Diego State University. His work has most recently appeared or is forthcoming in Kenyon Review, Georgia Review, Poetry Northwest, Gettysburg Review, Copper Nickel, Colorado Review, Missouri Review, Southern Humanities Review, and Cherry Tree. He’s received fellowships, support, and awards from Middlebury College, Kenyon Review summer workshops, San Diego State University, and Georgia Review. www.dswaldman.com

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