by Victoria McArtor


           we’ve come
all the way from Oklahoma for locals
           to ask if we’re celebrities

           No     she says     climbing out of
           the back of a convertible

           in a bathing suit with an almost
                     empty bottle

when we thought no one
          was watching      everyone
was watching

      and forever meant nothing
                                       when we had forever

     when we could be as plentiful
as the millions of anchovies circling the pier

      when we should be converting a safer habitat
Sarah’s dropped her art program again

      and we’re surveying our reflection because
      sometimes the future is wrapped so tightly in itself

that to dream of it     is using the same
                          conventions that failed us

I knew less about the body
            when as many half naked women lined the beach
as fish littering the sea

       iridescent baby hair on the small of someone’s back
as she turns over
       and falls back to sleep

                      No      she says again

but I’ve been drugged twice 

                                 both times I came to
                                 in Texas

while the anchovies suffer the threat of
                    California halibut

     she asks if I remember
     the trip we took to Galveston in college

               No        I say

you’ve got me
            confused with someone else 

Originally published in This Land, Vol. 6, Issue 4, February 15, 2015.