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About this poet

Ed Falco is the author of Wolf Moon Blood Moon, forthcoming from Lousiana State University Press in December 2017. A recipient of The Southern Review’s Robert Penn Warren Prize in Poetry, Falco has also received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, among others, for his novels, plays, and collected stories. He teaches in the MFA in program at Virginia Tech and lives in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Essay: On Love

We were crossing a wide beach toward a blacktop parking lot.
I forget now who I was with or where we were going the year
The details of that particular beach vacation that summer break.
Morning not long after sunrise the day already hot.

In the parking lot six women wrestled a package of sorts
Emerged from the side door of an SUV onto the beach carrying
A small weight in a blanket like a sling or a makeshift stretcher.
Six women one at each corner of the blanket two at the middle.

I couldn’t see what was in the blanket when they passed.
No one looked at us their expressions solemn touched by grief.
They stopped at the water’s edge and a skeletal head rose up

Out of the blanket to look over the ocean as legs like sea straw
Fell gently to the gentle surf which washed over them.
To see the ocean one last time surrounded by friends.
August the Georgia coast sand dunes trees permanently twisted
Their crowns like long hair in a brisk endless wind blown back.

How many mornings have I walked barefoot along the beach?
Not enough. Never enough. Summer and heat and the ocean.
Dolphins threading waves terns pelicans gulls squawking

The salt smell of ocean and the shore stretching for miles
All the way back to the beginning and before as if the blue
Pool swelling out to the horizon licking wet at our feet is one
Body and the waves repeat a heartbeat that won’t cease

Unlike our own which will. Dying woman at the water’s edge
Carried by friends to be close one more time to the ocean
To sand under bare feet to the seashore on a summer morning.

Copyright © 2017 Ed Falco. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in The Southern Review, Summer 2017.

Copyright © 2017 Ed Falco. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in The Southern Review, Summer 2017.

Ed Falco

Ed Falco

Ed Falco is the author of Wolf Moon Blood Moon, forthcoming from Lousiana State University Press in December 2017.

by this poet

poem
The words we use to instill a sense of the ineffable
Carry us on a journey that’s mysterious
As if your car makes a sudden left turn and accelerates
A child in the road leaps into her mother’s embrace
A deer becomes a child and you hit the brakes
The panjandrum in the driver’s seat this befuddled guy
At the