The aerial shot is all oak treetops and yachts
white like magnolia petals fallen from heaven,
with teacup lips for mouthfuls of rainwater.
That is someone’s Safe Haven — we live inland,
where restaurants board up windows each winter
and all the roads flood during hurricane season.
Down here, the bad guys don’t stagger around
drinking water bottles of vodka during parades.
They’re part of the crowd, an extra we know.
Leading ladies don’t show up on Coach buses
from Boston to marry our handsome strangers,
but stumble in every summer, bored and pale.
This is what we offer: the undersides of piers,
ribcages hollow from the heartbeats of waves
always breaking open against the shoreline.
Our only romance is in moonshined tidewater,
in wandering until dawn peeks between the legs
of beach houses and, like a child, runs to greet us.
By Mackensie Pless
Mackensie Pless ’15 is a senior English major with a minor in creative writing from Southport, N.C. Her poem was featured in the spring 2014 issue of Cellar Door, UNC’s undergraduate literary magazine. She enjoys traveling, drinking coffee with friends and spending as much time as she can by the ocean.