Edge of the Brightening Bay

In a fog blanket
of slow-eyed men grumbling
shopping carts along gray water,
a boy lifts himself
from concrete where he slept

as I stumble into guardianship
around the razor wire keep,
pressed into service by memories,
shadows and longing
for a different ending.

Old bums cry like seagulls.
I skirt their rolling nests.
A seagull sings nothing like an old man
yet I hear in every voice
the laugh of some lost boy

spinning around the fenced-off lot
through bricks and wires
twirling a pit bull
as if it were a child
barking at his legs.

He wastes no time searching
for accidental watchmen,
his better angels,
or seagulls beating with their wings
guilts in restless voice.

He climbs the fence
dog in arm
and drops to the other side
to wander the edge
of the brightening bay.

About the Author

Noel Kalenian is a cultural mongrel and polyglot descended from Colorado pioneers, Mexican immigrants and Armenian refugees (by way of Lebanon). He grew up in Grand Junction, Colorado, a high desert town on the Utah border. He has also lived in Denver and San Francisco, where he received an MFA from San Francisco State University. He has been published in Skidrow Penthouse, Fourteen Hills, Sidebrow, South Dakota Review, and other journals.