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January 4, 2023


Evening, third floor balcony, the best hotel on this beach. Which is to say, zero stars, but clean and comfy. Good mosquito nets and solid window screens. The staff, in starched monogrammed shirts, works round the clock. Once, I’d gotten lost here, having heard you could walk straight to the border, feet in the water. Then, idiot that I am, I fell for the clerk-waiter-watchman sent to find me. I knew it was better not to say. I’m not often on the coast. I’ve never worked as hard as he does in a day. 

Shutters open, high winds churning, I can’t sleep. Rain in unbroken panes, thunder and lightning. The watchman stops by with a lantern to assure me, Nothing’s wrong. It’s just a storm. He says, My love. That’s an expression. Morning sets a shrimp boat on the sea, and yellow-bellied birds up in the palms. It seems that I’ve slept deeply. Nothing’s wrong.


© the author

by Deborah Diemont

Deborah Diemont lives in Syracuse, New York. She has been a nominee for the Poets’ Prize and a recipient of the Wil Mills fellowship to the West Chester Poetry Conference for her sonnet collection, Diverting Angels. Her poems have appeared in Measure, New American Writing, The Nervous Breakdown, The Raintown Review, The Yale Review and elsewhere. Her new poetry book is The Charmed House from Dos Madres Press.

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