Ocean Beach, Late November by Janna Layton

                                                                                                 The Pacific has killed several boaters this week.
                                                                                                 Today not even surfers dot the waves.

                                                                                                 We’ve been told to stay away,
                                                                                                 but this is the sea, this is the shore,
                                                                                                 this is the sky, all met 
                                                                                                 on the western border of San Francisco
                                                                                                 with the cypress trees of Sutro Heights,
                                                                                                 the row houses sunny even in fog,
                                                                                                 the snowy plovers and cracked sand dollars,
                                                                                                 the bare backs against the black of unzipped wetsuits.

                                                                                                 Everything below is washed up in the roughness.
                                                                                                 Dogs examine the headless log
                                                                                                 that is the dead sea lion. 
                                                                                                 Jellyfish look like solid glass paperweights on the sand,
                                                                                                 but touched, they quiver like desserts.

Janna Layton is a writer and office worker getting by in San Francisco. Her poetry and fiction have been published in various literary journals, including The Rag, Up the Staircase Quarterly, REAL, and The Pinch. She sporadically rambles on at readingwatchinglookingandstuff.blogspot.com.

What word, English or otherwise, would you say seems to lift off the page?
Balloon. The l’s give the impression of lift-off, and the o’s mimic the shape. Plus, it’s a fun word to say. I especially love hot air balloons for their daring, beauty, and whimsy. I’ve been in one once, in Paris, and if you’re ever in Albuquerque, I definitely recommend the Balloon Museum.

ArtPriscilla Boatwright is an illustrator and writer working in San Antonio. She is fascinated with myth, magic, and the connections between cultural identity and art. Priscilla received her BFA in illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design. See more of her artwork at http://cargocollective.com/boatart.

Back to Issue 5: Things that Float

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