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 The Last Wednesday in August by Perry Brass

It’s the last Wednesday in August and I’m
on the beach with my friend Branden Wallace,
watching him Eakins bare-assed by the receding tide.
He brings seashells and driftwood into flotsamy
dream formations pointing out directions
in a mindful but fleeting way. The distant hook
of New Jersey. Staten Island. Airports. Riis Park
to the left of us. Seagulls soar and horseshoe crabs
belch in big wriggles below. He kneels
and looks at the significance of each change
in his creation, gets up for perspective,
observing the chance materials that
figure the lines. We return
to the waves, chickenfighting with guys
on our shoulders. They capsize, limbs
flinging brine in the air; soon we'll be
gone and fall will bleach its stern  
                     into the sand.
              We stretch out while the moon

            is slowly released over the back dunes. Men
            arrive for an evening’s private dispersal
            of pleasure; the bay trees and beach plums
            soak up their presence in a silvery haze. We forget

                  about money and the hard call
               of Manhattan
            until gravity sighs
               lifting us to the stars.

Perry Brass
August 26, 2009
Ft. Tilden, Queens, New York


[](c)2017 Perry Brass/Belhue Press

More Full Frontal Poetry by Perry Brass
Brokeback Mountain
The wind hisses and I want to get naked with you,
the rain pounds outside the tent
while my ears sting from the blood pounding in them:
no longer can I ignore the sweep of stuff
pulling me into your arms and chest,
and best of all merciless and clean
is the sunshine on your cheeks
in the fresh air. Darling, I can finally say,
to you, all meanness aside,
I swear.
May 12, 2006 Bronx, New York

The Higher Music
There is a higher music
in the clouds. It is sung
with lutes and lyres,
and the tender voices
from days long scattered
from my ears, and I ask
myself why does it stop
when I need it so very much?
Why does it mute its beauty
at that final, breaking point,
when I can barely hope
for anything past this evening
pushing so much harder
against this life that is mine?
But now I only hear
the music in brief sketches
and stretches of silence
and finger gestures with the white clouds
all entwined: and see it moving
from me like sails, like white,
white sails, crossing a clear blue line,
then disappearing once more
back in time.

Perry Brass
Nov. 3, 1997, Bronx, New York