Long Beach, February

Katherine Anderson Howell


Ships in harbor echo
their coming and going, ignore
Queen Mary’s permanent tether,
dodge artificial oil islands.

The pier juts into the horizon’s
yellow film; the tideline
littered with bottle
caps and driftwood.
Waves glitter the sand.

Sleeping gulls surround
a man, legs curled beneath
him. His trumpet charms
the flock with old hymns.

Terns, scattering on spindles,
wake the gulls, who cover
the sun like leaves, searching
for what has been thrown away.


Katherine Anderson Howell writes, works, and parents in Washington, D.C. A multi-genre writer, she has published work in places as varied as The Rumpus, the Journal of Fandom Studies, Gargoyle, and Women in Higher Education. She is the editor of Fandom as Classroom Practice: A Teaching Guide forthcoming from University of Iowa Press. She believes selfies are one of the highest forms of self-love, and takes at least one a day.

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