Boy on the Beach

By Hadley Hury

The boy on the beach

stared out

not knowing then

the sea might someday evoke

simultaneous thoughts of

nostalgia and fear

life and death

love and loss

the certainty of beauty

the precipice of the howling void

infinity and inconsequence.


Instead there was then

a kind of comfort

a vague promise or hope

that the crowdedness in his

head was behind him

not here on this wide expanse

looking out to an unknown horizon

but back there

behind him

around the dinner table

in the classroom

on the schoolyard

in books and at the movies

all that urgency toward definition

from without and within.


Time sloshed idly

with the foam through his toes

and the desperate competing stories

evaporated in the dusk

impossibly absurd

in the face of such openness

such benign and

blank regard.


Hadley Hury has published a novel (2003), a collection of stories (2007), and his short fiction and poetry have appeared in Colorado Review, Green Mountains Review, The Avatar Review, and Image.

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