PCH Sunset (New Years Day, 2016)
Sydney pants in the sand before us, all
ran out. Annette’s phone mimics a shutter
as she tries to capture the sky. I lean
back on a massive, tan rock, smooth
and pitted with burrows from a thousand
generations of Angelwing clams. Between
competing sounds of ocean and highway, my eyes
tilt up toward the light, closed, and I
listen to the sunset. I used to live a block
north of the 10, and I used to think, at night
that the endless stream of traffic sounded like
a river. Behind us, I hear only traffic.
If a freeway is a river it’s a deformed
mechanical thing. No fish. No pulse. Get
close to an actual river, you can hear
the life inside, the steady whisper of water
on the shore. The ocean before us sounds
like the wind if the wind had a plan or patience enough
to see it through, and the shoreline pulses softly
with creation song, stories of lost
gods, dreams of plankton, nameless unseen.
Tim Hatch is an author and educator, living and working in the Inland Empire. His poetry explores themes of abuse, fragility, and our human obligation to one another. He earned his MFA at Cal State San Bernardino, and his poetry has appeared in several journals, including East Jasmine Review, The Vehicle, Touch: The Journal of Healing, Apeiron Review, and Cholla Needles. He desperately misses the Before Time, when hugging wasn’t scary.