"Salt" by Beck Anson


I was driving east on route 6

along Cape Cod’s inner elbow

towards the queerest outpost

on the New England shore

when I remembered you

sitting on the cold basement floor

the first night we kissed, both tipsy

on a jug of homemade cider

that I kept hidden in my closet

like our love so my mother wouldn’t know.

That night, we were on the edge

of going off to college, spent

the swell of that summer watching

horror movies and opening

our clammy palms to a fortune teller.

Were you as scared as I was then

of what we were becoming?

I didn’t have the words for what I was

back then, but if there is a word now

let it be blossom.

I cut my hair short the winter before,

the only way I knew

how to wave my flag to the world

what kind of man I was.

Driving between the colossal sand dunes

I think of my favorite Yeats poem—

how I loved the pilgrim soul in you,

how I wished to be the stars

over your head that you’d gaze upon

when you are old and gray.

When I picture you now

your eyes blink brightly

like the sky in Provincetown

on a clear June day.

You stand tall like a crisp pole bean

walking through your rows

of vegetables, tended with

the gentle touch

of your slender fingers. I hope

you love yourself, too,

like the salty sea breeze—

tenderly and always there.


Beck Anson (he/they) is a queer and trans writer whose work is featured in Humana Obscura, Rattle, The Raven Review, and more. Find him on Instagram @beckansonpoet and read more of their work at beckanson.com.

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