Catherine Esposito Prescott: To Forgive Us Everything
David Cohen

David Cohen


It’s not so much the congregation
nor the people who worship
ocean, sun, youth, 
and every new and lasting freedom, 

and it’s not what they do here, 
not their sins so much as what they leave
behind, their most undesirable parts,
their disdain, their laziness, 

and their anger writ in styrofoam
coolers and sunken beer cans lying
on the bottom of a fish’s den, 
writ in plastic sleeves, ropes, chains, 

caps, circles, cups and floats, bottles
shipwrecked on land, bottles which never
delivered secret messages, bottles
which never crossed oceans, never carried

someone’s heart or the missing piece
in the puzzle of a family's centuries-long
story to another shore, it’s also in the orbs
of condoms spent in a quick love, the kind not

cared after, impulse-love, and left to never
decompose in sand, it’s in hundreds of
cigarette butts confettied on the sand,
here all of the carelessnesses collect,

a monument to disconnection, a kind
of hatred for the world, testament
to every wrong doing, this world,  
our backyard, a shitpile, a cesspool, 

a finger’s width from lips of waves
vying to rake in beachsand, to take
back the land, the ocean trying to unsalt
itself and to forgive us everything. 

Catherine Esposito Prescott is the author of the chapbooks Maria Sings (forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press) and The Living Ruin (Finishing Line Press).  Recent poems have appeared in PleiadesSouthern Poetry ReviewBellevue Literary ReviewPoetry EastMiPOesias, and elsewhere.  A graduate of NYU’s MFA program in Creative Writing-Poetry, Catherine is cofounder and curator of the SWWIM reading series.  She lives in Miami Beach with her husband, two sons, and daughter.