Matthue Roth: A Beach Is No Place for Loners

Subway Birds

a beach is no place for loners
everything is carnivorous mussels
ripped from shells by savage white birds
impossibly smooth skin you could curl
ashamed the size of a grain of sand

the ocean is where we thrive 60%
water a few more drops in the lungs won’t change much
virginia woolf walked calmly nothing
else was calm to be becalmed
is to be abandoned by even the sea finally

in the homeward station birds peck
their way onto trains no suspicion
once you’re in their bellies no expectation
to be taken somewhere new
upheaval gifted with manhattan
dreams of every schoolchild and no hatchling

Matthue Roth earned his master’s degree in creative writing from Brooklyn College. He’s a creative writer at Google, where he makes games for children. Previously, he was a screenwriter at Sesame Street, and he’s collaborated on thirty video games with the creators of Minecraft, League of Legends, and Thomas Was Alone