alone on a pier

by Connor Zimmerman on February 27, 2020


A boy pondering on a pier alone
Photo courtesy of

by Jay Willett ’20

Moss beams teal, tides crash sloping soliloquies,
withdraws, slicing bay reefs sucking out to Adrian.
Slime crawls up poles, infecting, seeping, into designed drains.
Concrete, salt cracks finish, a sand texture feeling by foot—barefoot.

Perhaps it’s selfish to think your happiness is a salvation.
I’m not so foolish as to believe that anymore. Sweetheart, I’ve run out.
Darling, we can’t dance anymore. The bar’s closing. The band went home.
You might be smiling, but in that dark, I could never truly know if you were.

Ah—right, the poem. I’ll make you feel something, that’s the point, right?
You want to cry together, laugh, sing, it’s a pretty idea.
It should rhyme, right? What’s the scheme?
You’re expecting a trick.
Something witty perhaps?
Some of you want me to trick you.
I can’t.
It’s not that I can’t do it. I don’t want to.
Poets are all liars. It’s what we do.
Sell pieces of ourselves to you, to make you feel something.
But how could I when I have nothing to feel—to give you?
There’s no deeper meaning. No pages between the lines.
This is it.
This is the poem.
If you were expecting more, well—sorry.
I’m just a dirty poet. A liar. A fraud.
A boy alone on a pier, waiting to be proved wrong.