John Skoyles
The End of August
 The crease on the map
where we met
still crosses that state,
but the August air vanished,
lost on a calendar,
no telling date in history,
just the road,
a ribbon on a package
that will never be opened.
Half-dressed summer stood apart
from the rest of the year,
a manikin in lingerie
with whom we had
a briefly wrenching rendezvous
before a brittle wind
brushed us away
like dozing bees
slapped from the zinnias
of frost.
One direction takes vengeance
upon another,
and the routine of the way home
eventually escapes
down a stuttering path
to the stuttering sea
which breaks
in a succession of coughs.
I saw your profile
from the shore,
the surf congested
with naked mothers
and fathers squirming free
of each other's arms.
Your only profile, Egyptian, 
smooth as a sanded tomb,
your ease among
the circling weeds,
and your pleasure
at the baitfish
turning crazy
in the shallows,
tossing their pale inches
toward the sun,
chased there
by whatever preys upon them.
Found In Volume 27, No. 02
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John Skoyles
About the Author

John Skoyles is the author of four books of poems, A Little Faith; Permanent Change; Definition of the Soul and The Situation, all from Carnegie-Mellon University Press which will publish his New & Selected Poems in 2016.  He is also the author of a book of personal essays, Generous Strangers; a memoir, Secret Frequencies: A New York Education; and the recently published A Moveable Famine: A Life in Poetry.  He teaches at Emerson College and is the poetry editor of Ploughshares.