Twenty Minutes at the Clam Shack

By CASSIE PRUYN

Beneath a chalk-white winter sky,
her diamond studs gleam.
We sit parked in the Clam Shack lot, halfway
between her house and mine,
in her mother’s luxury SUV. Her alibi this time:
Christmas shopping for her mother on Newbury Street.
She wears a black, full-length wool coat
unbuttoned at the throat.
I slip my hand under her blouse, which quivers
with heartbeats, trace
the silken blade of her collarbone,
lean down to sniff her neck.
Gulls screeching, flapping, battling
for scraps across the Clam Shack’s pavement.
Traffic rushing beyond the chainlink.
As the dashboard clock clicks and dry heat
sighs from the vents, Lena
pushes a button and her seat reclines—she pulls
me toward her, whispering
Come here like she’d snatched up
a pocketknife and sliced
a sliver in the day just for me.

 

[Purchase Issue 13 here]

Cassie Pruyn is a New Orleans-based poet born and raised in Portland, Maine. She holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. Her poems can be found in AGNI Online, The Normal School, The Los Angeles Review, The Adroit Journal, Poet Lore, and others.

Twenty Minutes at the Clam Shack

Related Posts

Image of the book cover of The Morning Line, featuring a man wearing a hat.

September 2021 Poetry Feature: David Lehman’s The Morning Line

DAVID LEHMAN
You can pick horses on the basis of their names / and gloat when Justify wins racing’s Triple Crown / or when, in 1975, crowd favorite Ruffian, “queen / of the century,” goes undefeated until she breaks down / in a match race with Derby winner Foolish Pleasure.

Bogota

Translation: Poems by María Paz Guerrero

MARÍA PAZ GUERRERO
Time fills with holes / and puts the scarce body / into one of them // It covers its skeleton of wind / so the current / doesn’t rub against its prickly outside // The air would split into smithereens / if it were touched by the spines // It doesn’t seek to become cuts on the cheek