mexico emma rogers licensed
On Bahía Concepción
by Jeff Ewing

A sign rusted to the wall crackles over my shoulder
where I’m waiting for the late stars to appear, raising
the hairs on my arms—electric, the night, this night
when the Sea of Cortés itself lights with the prisoned
charge of life rubbing against the shore it will break on.

On the square of a town walked away from by all but
the least curious, a cannon slick with dew rings under
a storm of butternuts, a wind-driven harvest staining
the sidewalks and car hoods, the time-shedding roofs
of closed storefronts. I will wait there in short sleeves

and pale arms for news of the living. There is a future,
I guess even then, in which others wait for me, in which
the gull-speckled arms of the opposite ocean gather close
handful on handful of penny shells, combed pinnas cocked
in guilty thrall to the wail and shatter of each falling wave.

There is a song on a radio, a window thrown open to let
what’s left of the night air in. Tinny and bone thin, the words
perch one by one on the limbs of the tree domed wide over
me. I am still waiting, as you must soon, when the first of the
storm comes ashore to shake the last of the firmament loose.

PHOTO: Star trails above an empty beach on the Sea of Cortés (Gulf of California), with the town of Loreto, Mexico, glowing in the background.  Photo by Emma Rogers.

ewing

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jeff Ewing is the author of the poetry collection Wind Apples, published on May 26, 2021 by Terrapin Books, and the short story collection The Middle Ground, published by Into the Void Press. His poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in Crazyhorse, Southwest Review, ZYZZYVA, Willow Springs, Subtropics, Utne Reader, and Cherry Tree, among others. He lives in Sacramento, California, and can be found online at jeffewing.com.