The sea consumed by anxious gulls is the sound I hear on the dark surface of things. I follow what I call my soul to the shore where a bonfire rages,
fronds and scraps of weed cast off as if they were a burden. One of us comes back from gathering, arms full of the arms of trees
which we sling through sleeves to scare off what we imagine hunts us. We know others are here because we hear, because we haven’t had a meal
and hear with our stomachs. I can just reach over and grasp the dark air and the dark air obliges. I can lie down if I want to and the sand will adjust
its tongue. It isn’t so bad this night among many, this break in the reign of the sun. We get to lean into the fire
to find the fire on our faces. We get to grasp a part of an indefinite figure and picture the whole it’s a part of, ribbons of the night’s black hair.
We get to stay up past burning, linger in the breath of the fire, which we inhale and love, having wayward love and so much of it that it turns inward
and is lost. Friend, if you are there, come to meet me. I am drifting devoured. I am ready to say goodnight if you’d come meet me so I can release it.
72 The Paris-American
ChristopherKondrich is the author of Contrapuntal, a New Measure Poetry Prize finalist, which was recently published in the Free Verse Editions poetry series by Parlor Press. His poems have appeared in numerous print and online journals including American Letters & Commentary, Barrow Street, Boston Review, Cimarron Review, Free Verse, Meridian, Seneca Review, Verse Daily and Washington Square. He holds degrees from Fordham University, Columbia University, and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Denver where he is an editor for Denver Quarterly.