Poem of the Week

PLAYA VISTA

Ari Banias

I even love the gnats
was thinking this as I walked through a marsh marked Private Property
bordered by a six-lane road
with blocks of new construction
sandy orange, peachish-beige condos right
in the path of the sunset
later I was thinking I even like this long blond strand of hair
here beside the hotel pool caught on a rivet
fixed to the plywood lounging platform painted black
and faced in wood laminate so as to appear…stylish?
it’s cheap
the wind blows a bit then settles
the hair flails energetically then almost vanishes
I count three separate hairs each claimed by a different screw
a single cloud passes over the sun
from another vantage the cloud would be elsewhere
gnats and birdsong ecstatic in the reeds
the lit up LA FITNESS sign reflected in the marsh water
white on liquid pink
a duck paddles across and the letters smear
LAST FINES
FASIL NEST
FAINTLESS
it can be some other way
and is

Ari Banias is the author of A Symmetry and Anybody. His poems appear in bæst, Kenyon Review, The Nation, and The New Republic. He lives in Oakland.
Originally published:
June 16, 2021

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