by Nina Romano
I spent summers catching angels’ wings…
butterflies, darning needles,
Tonight I tasted angels’ wings,
Turkish ipek pismaniye, candy floss,
fluffier than buttermilk biscuits.
Summering in Point Lookout
when I was an eleven-year-old, skinny belink,
bike-pedaling, coffee ice cream–eater
I’d watch angels flit from Orion’s Belt to the Big Dipper,
to Boötes on late night jaunts to the beach,
while the household slept, and I snuck out to swim.
Sometimes the crashing waves, boisterous
and booming crested in sky-high arcs and curves,
yet I dared to dive through the middle
hoping to swim my way to Old Cathay.
I never exactly located Xi’an,
but never gave up hope,
though somehow I’d find myself
exhausted, spent, dreaming in Mandarin
upon solid, sodden sand.
Angel kisses woke me and whisked me home;
a gentle touch dressed me in seersucker pj’s
and tucked me into bed.
Now Candy bunches splinter
into white shards and filaments, denser
than cottony cotton candy at Coney Island,
where sweating crowds
in sleeveless tees stride
the boardwalk in summertime.
How I’d love to remember
the Chinese symbols and characters for that
and to write them once more in the sand.
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