Andy Keys

Beach Posture
In North Carolina

Beach Posture

“Salt water leaps like fried diamonds” —Emily Carr

In the great blue fryer this morning I
was dazzled watching chinny pelicans pass
for their morning meal, toppled top-heavy
from my board, turtled subsurface,
held diamonds in my teeth but my teeth leaked
like baleen, could have filtered krill
and never felt too full. That is to say
I’ve put on layers here, added
insulation in the wrong places
for this heat. And when the beautiful
surfers bend over their boards like lovers
their bellies barely crinkle, and you know
they’re hard as sharks beneath. A pack
of sand-powdered lifeguards thundering by—
I want to swallow them, too, in the deep
fried land these tan people who sift their vowels
through their sun-bleached teeth. Lord,
mother, let me eat!

In North Carolina

In the dusk, distant mountains
of smoke-blue clouds float past.

Unfamiliar suburban
birds form Googie parabolas.

A far-off jet wanders west, leaves
behind a tangerine vapor trail…

My lime wedge sweats.
My ice resettles itself.

ANDY KEYS is a writer from North Idaho. He is an MFA candidate at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where he teaches introductory classes in poetry and creative writing. He was a finalist for Great River Review‘s Pink Poetry Prize, and his poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The ShoreThe Rappahannock Review, and Thin Air Magazine. Online @_andykeys