Larence Lenhart

Whistles while he works. Whistles the jetty. Whistles the rip tide. Whistles the sand terrier, sky kite dangerous. Whistles liquor in a bag, on the sly. Whistles for your attention, for your safety, for your affection. When air is blown into the plastic cavity, it rattles the pea. Whistle I wear from nine to five. At five, one last blast to clear the waters. Whistle in guard shorts’ pockets. Whistle still seeming to be around my neck into October: phantom rope: memories kinesthetic. Whistle I sometimes wear to bed, dream of being choked by someone who hates me. Who hates me?

Whistle at Jersey boys in boardshorts who skimboard reckless in shallow wake. Cramp their style. Whistle as hassle. Whistle at diggers of holes to China. Whistle their false antipodes. Whistle around which my skin tans. Whistle as stencil. Whistle in Deauville, in Olive, in Reho, in Hickman. Whistle at lightning. Cup the cavity for a higher pitch. Whistle against thunder’s grumble. Hurricane’s onset. Irene.

We still in love. We still got plans. We still getting closer all the time—asymptotal, tidal spook, rogue wave. Things get wet. We still sorry. We still trying. We still doing our best. We still think about what next summer would have been like. We still get our whistles switched, mails crossed, feelings hurt. We still wonder how our soaps got so small all the time. We still counting down to something that used to matter. We still matter. We still mid-air. We still suspended above buoy mounds that soften our landings. Is this your milk in the fridge, or is it mine?

Whistle pop chorus maybe Katy Perry, whistle at: Kid, stop maypoling my jetty flag, please. Whistle-work-work-whistle-work. Whistle forgot on nightstand. Have you backups in lockers, or borrow from Brenna? She’s off today. Whistles with knots more fashionable. Whistle won’t. Whistle wait. Whistle. The medic needs your 10-20: your location precisely.

We steal glances in guard shack. We steal lotion from lockers. We steal moments away from the others. Apply lotion to the skin of his spine. Does he shiver? We steal touches of thigh underwater. We steal as many such touches. We steal Kevin’s buoy Trevor’s buoy Emma’s buoy. We steal all the buoys and tie them in fashionable knots, and we float them as prank. Honey pranks in which sand grains sap in patches like coastal mange. Initials carved in the stand. TZM (Travis Ezekiel Michels). Ocean as accomplice, as a complicated ecosystem. Ocean as thief. As hunger. As lover, takes me into it.

Whistle diaphragm flat into plastic. Whistle do they hear? Fainter at the scumline. Whistle lacks volume. We need air horn, need aerosol. Whilst we. Whilst we.

We still remember. We still never forget skinny-dipping. Cypress swamp drought, and John, in his canoe, never said a word. Why not say a word, John? Why not say a word? Try “Ibis.” Try “Egret.” Try “Heron.”

We still cycling past the arcade, ten-cent Skee ball. I’m all-time high scorer. The balls leap the ramp. We still cycling that wooden walk. We still pedaling with the Bulgarians. And it’s the end of the workday, and we are going home. And we are workers slaloming vacationers, velocities balletic. And the workers are going home / the workers are going home / the workers are going home, and it’s harmonized at 360 watts. It’s Weezer. It’s Weezer. It’s we still. We still going home. We still on the payroll. We still on the billboard. We still on the boardwalk. In the beach dunes where we ought not be. We still in the Cape Gazette. We still on postcards you can send to your moms and your dads. We still on seasonal leases. We still making the best of a bad situation. We still. Stay still. We stay still.

We still we.

To read the rest of "Whistle," purchase issue 27.2 here.