Clearwater

Sabyasachi Nag

Pelicans, like pundits, 
draw you in to the curve of their pouch
quietly chewing carp— under your feet 
sand shifts, as though earth were adjusting in sleep.
The clear green haze on the Atlantic
leaps up your body, begging to be touched.

Jaws slackened, pelicans sit still,
watching the world— language of men,
depth of ocean— painted in bold white paint 
on a weathered post— the sky 
so brilliant, you wish you could squeeze 
it like fruit to arouse your tongue.

Pelicans quietly chew before they take off,
all of them at once, before you notice—  
ferrules on stretched umbrellas,
creamed skin splayed under the sun
dreaming in shades of brown— men waving martinis
from shiny yachts, and children drawing sand 
in plastic buckets to build the castles 
they know they can’t take anywhere.


Sabyasachi Nag (Sachi) is the author of two books of poetry: Bloodlines (Writers Workshop, 2006) and Could You Please, Please Stop Singing (Mosaic Press, 2015). His third poetry collection, Uncharted is forthcoming in 2020. His work has appeared, or is forthcoming in several anthologies and publications including Canadian Literature, Contemporary Verse 2, Grain, Perihelion, The Antigonish Review, The Dalhousie Review, The Maynard and Vallum among others. He is a graduate of the Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University and the Humber School for Writers. He lives in Ontario, Canada.

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