Not the Beach
by Jackie Chou

Take me to an all you can eat buffet
Feed me raw fish and oysters
Sneak little pumpkin muffins
Into a brown paper bag to take home

Let me savor the moist dessert
Not sandwiches
Made with stale bread and dry bologna
And no cheese, not even cheese

Let me drink first-class champagne
Not bottled water
Brought in a plastic igloo
Which we carry from the parking lot
All the way to the shore

Let me lie on soft cushion
My feet stretched out on a glass table
Under a crystal chandelier
Not on an old torn towel
My body sticky from sunscreen
And my eyes teary from the sand

Let me listen to the sweet melodies
Of a wealthy upbringing
Not the monotonous song of the waves
For I eat men like ribs
Sucking them dry
Until nothing is left but bones and desperation

PHOTO: Beach, Taiwan (1995).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem was inspired by a friend who always insists on taking me to the beach despite my protests.

jackie chou

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jackie Chou has been writing poetry since high school, winning the Lincoln High School junior class poetry contest with the poem “Vanity Gate,” and went on to study Creative Writing at the University of Southern California. After graduating in 1997, she continued to write as a hobby. In 2012, she joined the Emerging Urban Poetry Workshop at the Santa Catalina Branch Library in Pasadena. Her works have been published in the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly, the Alta Dena Poetry Review, Spectrum, Dryland Literary Magazine, Angel City Review Literary Magazine, The Muse’s Gallery, The Origami Poem Project, and Culture Cult Magazine.