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Gabriel Ricard

Liberation at South Vanderton Beach

There’s no shame in going to the beach
with a potential loved one,
and trusting them enough to bury
you up to your neck in the sand,
and leave you there overnight.

It’s only a problem if you keep doing it,
and keep acting absolutely stunned
that it keeps going down in the exact same way.

If she bites off the more stressed-out
parts of your forehead and eyebrows,
tells you to strongly consider
praying for a sudden oceanside hurricane,
and leaves with your wallet,
you need to decide then and there
if this is really the best way to find someone
who can guide your heart,
without wrapping theirs up in cheap scotch tape.

Do you really think so?

Then go ahead,
and keep your weekends free
through the duration of the longest endless summer
any of us have ever known.

Just try to act like that stupid look on your face
is something you’re working on
for yet another one man show
about yet another aging white guy
who thinks its more relatable for the audience
when there isn’t a drop of personal responsibility
to be found for millions of light years.

Don’t get into the habit of telling people
that you never saw the physical and emotional abuse coming.

Certainly don’t fucking tell her that.

Just go to the beach.
Try to have a good time.

if you really can’t stop finding your way back home,
you can think about just getting beyond the scope
of being lost for only a little while,
if she buries you in the sand again.

You could do something like
without even realizing it.

Gabriel Ricard writes, edits, and occasionally acts. He writes a monthly column called Captain Canada’s Movie Rodeo at Drunk Monkeys, as well as a monthly called Make the Case with Cultured Vultures. His 2015 poetry collection Clouds of Hungry Dogs is available from Kleft Jaw Press, while his 2017 novel Bondage Night is available through Moran Press. Recent releases include A Ludicrous Split (Alien Buddha Press/Split chapbook with Kevin Ridgeway) and Love and Quarters (Moran Press). He is a writer and performer with Belligerent Prom Queen Productions, currently working on a follow-up to their 2016 immersive theater show Starman Homecoming. His movie podcast Cinema Hounds, co-hosted with an actual man from Florida named Chris Bryant, is currently in its second season. Gabriel currently lives on Long Island with his wife, three crazed ferrets, and an inability to stop ordering delivery.


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