Morning at Crash Boat Beach
I thought I’d die that way—cold in my sunburned
skin, in the sweet unxenial waters of Aguadilla.
Do you remember the last morning we swam off
Crash Boat? Beneath the surface of what was green
and felt infinite, we waggled our limbs. It was
the strength of our legs kept us there, though it
should have been something else: You might have
lifted me into the wave, but I wouldn’t let you.
There were lovers whispering when the tide
came in. Then ta-da! You asked me why, your eye
fixed on a man with a gull on his hat. What could I say—
that I might never choose? That night, mouth
cloying with aspartame and whiskey, you said, Stay.
You said, Not yet. You held my vulva in your palm.
Amanda Gunn reads “Morning at Crash Boat Beach”
Amanda Gunn is a Wallace Stegner Fellow in poetry at Stanford as well as a doctoral candidate in English at Harvard where she works on Black poetics, Black pleasure, and ephemerality. Her work appears in Poetry, Poetry Northwest, Lana Turner, and The Baffler.