by Kirby Wright

She crosses legs on the lounge chair,
rests the book on her belly.
She smoothes lotion
over arms and shoulders.
Funny how skin learns
pink instead of copper.
Men sleep in Speedos
on the other side of the pool.
She knows she's invisible
even to the man wheeling
a canvas cart, filling it with towels.
She contemplates the pool—
her pain goes deeper
than twelve feet under the board.
Axes have swung at her soul.

No Lifeguard on Duty,
Swim at Your Own Risk.

She treats the wounds
with fantasy and chocolate.
She hears newlyweds
giggling inside the Jacuzzi
and recalls the aftermath
of a bedspread
beside the picnic river.
The morning of stained glass promises
she believed, she really believed.
She slips on her glasses
and arrives at a Tuscan villa.
An Italian with a mustache
parachutes into the heroine's life.
She studies a sky too blue,
too deep to be real.

BEFORE THE CITY poetry collection, originally published in RED BOOTH REVIEW

Kirby Wright's picture

Kirby Wright was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is a graduate of Punahou School in Honolulu and the University of California at San Diego. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Wright has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and is a past recipient of the Jodi Stutz Memorial Prize in Poetry, the Ann Fields Poetry Prize, the Academy of American Poets Award, the Browning Society Award for Dramatic Monologue, and Arts Council Silicon Valley Fellowships in Poetry and The Novel. BEFORE THE CITY, his first book of poetry, took First Place at the 2003 San Diego Book Awards. Wright is also the author of the companion novels PUNAHOU BLUES and MOLOKA’I NUI AHINA, both set in Hawaii. He was a Visiting Writer at the 2009 International Writers Conference in Hong Kong, where he represented the Pacific Rim region of Hawaii. He was also a Visiting Writer at the 2010 Martha’s Vineyard Writers Residency in Edgartown, Mass., and the 2011 Artist in Residence at Milkwood International, Czech Republic.

Last updated December 20, 2011