Craig Cotter

Do I Go To San Clemente Tomorrow To Look For Sean?

It's been 4 years since
he was 16

near the Fourth of July

at West Street Beach

perfect brown, 5-8, 130,
smooth glistening skin,

perfect soft feet
toes shining with wet sand crystals.


He worked at
the shooting range

in San Clemente
which does exist—


Don't know his last name

I could walk around—


He told me about spear-fishing
with a girl on a first date,

going to Mexico with his family

red tides.


He must've known
it was a gay beach.

The Station Fire

The Station Fire has been going 8 days
is 38% contained.

I'm in Altadena
looking at spider webs full of ash.

Some scientists use the word “uncountable.”


Can he use it,
is the web still sticky?


By 7 I’d learned how to walk into a wild area and not scare everything.

I'd sit down and wait
quiet and still.


My dad did not like to walk in wet grass
with black wingtips.

I did not want to grow-up with such a concern.


How many times didn’t Keith Moon die?

Craig Cotter was born in 1960 in New York and has lived in California since 1986. New poems have appeared in Hawai’i Review, POEMS-FOR-ALL, Poetry New Zealand, Assaracus, Court Green, Eleven Eleven, Euphony, the Bicycle Review, Caliban Online & Otoliths. His poetry is featured in the anthology Between from Chelsea Station Editions, and he has a story in Foolish Hearts, a new anthology from Cleis Press. His fourth book of poems, After Lunch with Frank O’Hara, is currently available from Chelsea Station Editions (New York). www.craigcotter.com
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