Noon's Compartment

By Lily Brown

By the river, staid, long
cords of bone.

Thin boats slid by.
We heard the sound
of dressed-up humans.

Fancy boats, inchoate moods
in noon's compartment.

Afterwards, we walked
the sand and our shadows
knocked hard and froze.

Red light, purple light
behind Highway One,
you are only so

beautiful in the sun burned
eye, in the under-lid's grit.

Two circles brush fire
on the palm.

Lily Brown is a graduate of Harvard College and the Saint Mary's College MFA Program in Creative Writing ('07). Her poems have appeared in Fence, Tarpaulin Sky, Octopus, 26 and Pleiades, among other journals. This poem originally appeared in Cannibal and is reprinted by permission of the author.