ABSOLUTELY NO ALCOHOL BEYOND THIS POINT

by Hillary Kobernick

The sign on the beachhead is uncompromising—
so naturally, when I go to the shoreline

there are 3 Miller Lite cans and an empty
handle of Bacardi. Under the clear water

of the pier is a red party cup. Like graffiti
begging us to remember I was here:

THIS WAS A PARTY ON THE BEACH.
This is the same water we drink.

When we go back to our apartments
and turn on the faucet, the metal hand

inside reaches down and reaches east
and brings us back Lake Michigan.

To drink. To live. And we go
to the beach to live. To drink

and get drunk. We go to our life
and tell it it isn’t living it up enough

and leave our empties to prove the point.
The point is that we come to our lives

our life source             our Lake Michigan
afraid of it                    trying to forget

the purity of the sky above our shoulders, the sand
sliding between toes, all the details of this moment

that make us feel alive.

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