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Point Lobos

along the western waterfront
I froze while walking across
the ancient seawall,

waves rising up against
the ruins of architecture,
as around me perfectly styled

couples posed for wind-swept
engagement photos staged
in the calm of salt-water

reflecting pools, mothers
hiking with newborns
wrapped to their chests

crowded the passageways
with utmost ease, how they resembled
the young women in elaborate dress

who are effortless in ascending
the dusty path up to Tiger’s Nest,
babes strapped to their backs,

hiking the Paro Valley
I felt anxiety then too,
fear for my companions

the New Mexican rancher
with the hernia, the old woman
celebrating her 70th year,

the man with the enlarged
atria with whom I tour
the ruins of history now,

who gives me
an outstretched hand
when I lose sight

of where I stand staring
at distant sea stacks converging
to reveal the heart’s contours

Shin Yu Pai is the author of several books of poetry, including "AUX ARCS" (La Alameda), "Adamantine" (White Pine), Sightings (1913 Press), and "Equivalence" (La Alameda).

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More from Issue 3: Summer 2021


No Refills

by Diane Lefer


“Tidal,” “Have You Ever Tried to Bully a Wave,” and “Starshine”

by Shin Yu Pai, David Ian Bickley