Poem with Oceanic Variables

Equations. What Jane, Suki, and I were
 supposed to be studying, Algebra
on a Saturday evening. Instead,

Juno’s Drive-Thru for two six-
 packs and no I.D.
Twelve divides three times into

forgetting. The real work and sorrow,
 bloodied on the road
a year or two ahead.

The night tattooed with telephone poles,
 palm trees, pink buzz
of bar signs. Jane’s car, a dark safety,

double bed we’d curl up in, planning
 our slip into the
adult world. Solitaire black-eyed

sailors crouched on bar stools, waiting.
 Lit smokes, cherry beacons.
The whole weekend turning

to three-day growth on pirated islands.
 The wind, the wind, the wind
nudging, There. Yes.

At the smell of the sea pulling back.
Liz Robbins’ poems have appeared in Barrow Street, Cimarron Review, Harpur
Palate, Margie
, and Puerto del Sol. Poems from Hope, As the World Is a Scorpion Fish
(Backwaters Press, 2008) have been featured on The Writer’s Almanac and
. She’s an assistant professor of English at Flagler College.