Avoiding News Along the Coast

Andy Eaton

Along the coast of perpetual breezes
I lay myself down. Half-light slowly
all the way, like the lid of the earth twisted off.
Full contentment may be possible

for some. Full contentment rises
to meet me, close enough
to smack my face with its shoe,
young enough it climbs inside my bed.

I want to live there on that other side of language
when out leapt sound fully formed,
mutual. Before the words took
shape. Before meaning put the lid back on

all this. Before accent, back before
the pure infallible syllable could be honed.
I don’t want to point. I want to raise
my hands. I want to cry out

with my hands raised, and run toward
my mother or my father, it doesn’t matter which,
toward anyone who has inclined their life to mine, without
my knowing it. Before they speak.

Before light was light, when the world was small
as a question mark curling outward.
Before anyone could ask, “Can you hear me
back there? Can you hear me now?”

Andy Eaton received the 2017 Ploughshares Emerging Writers award in poetry. His poems have appeared in Copper Nickel, Horsethief, and Ploughshares, among others.
Originally published:
April 1, 2018

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