Down the Shore
by Michael Minassian

Back in Jersey
when we went to the beach,
it was always:
                                   the shore.
Belmar, Seaside, Asbury Park,.

Walking on the sand,
the sun hit you on the head
like a wooden leg.

Seventeen years old,
horny, and dumb as seaweed.
It was every man for himself,
“last one in the water
is an A-hole,
and look at that girl’s bikini.”

Across the street —
souvenir shops, cheap hotels,
bars and fast food.

On the boardwalk,
an old man with faded
tattoos stood shuffling
a deck of greasy cards,
smiling, saying:
“c’mere kid, take a look
at these postcards.
Y’ever see a white whale?”

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Me hung over one morning in Seaside Heights, New Jersey — probably my freshman year at college.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem reflects to me how innocent and how dumb my friends and I were — underage drinking was the least of it! And, of course, we thought we were invincible. How little we knew.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michael Minnasian’s poems have appeared recently in such journals as The Broken Plate, Exit 7, The Meadow, Redactions, and Third Wednesday. He is also a Contributing Editor for Verse-Virtual, an online magazine. Amsterdam Press published a chapbook of his poems entitled The Arboriculturist in 2010.