"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.