A Revision of 'A Conversation on the Edge of a Pier'

or, 'At Those Docks'

A Revision of 'A Conversation on the Edge of a Pier'

it was late

not too late

just late for us

because he had a curfew

and all the time in the world

wouldn’t be enough.

so it was late

maybe 10 pm

and the sky was clear

but it hadn’t been clear all day

so it was hot

and muggy

and sweaty,

and i had asked him why he was still

wearing his tie dye sweatshirt.

so it was late

and a little too warm,

and like i could feel the water in the air,

on my skin,

i could feel

the fifth of captain morgan

sitting heavy in my stomach.

it had burned going down,

and even though i had made sure not

to drink too much,

i still felt intoxicated.

and not to sound cliche,

but part of it

might have been from being

around him.

so it was late for us

and too hot for me

and we were both under the influence

of cheap rum

and good vibes

and feelings of uncertainty

but of all the right things.

and there was music

played by a group of teenagers.

their words and guitars filled the atmosphere

with that feeling

that not even a poet

has the grace to describe,

but i’ll try anyway.

it’s that feeling that movies make

seem normal

but are actually rare

and sweet

and deserving of remembrance,

like the perfect first kiss in a boat on a lake,

or a formal dance just for two

under a gazebo (we sat under one that night),

with string lights

and a boy who knows how to waltz.

our string lights

were the stars

in an unexpectedly clear sky

and our waltz

was stumbling walks to the bathroom

and our lake with a boat

was the quiet ocean

with the occasional jumping fish.

so it was late

and hot

i hate hot weather

and we were drunk

and there was music

just for us

and there was a dock

it was kind of long

and the wood was soft

worn from all of the feet

that had walked on it before.

maybe a family carrying fishing poles and buckets of live bait

or maybe a guy with a beer and a foldable chair

or maybe even people like us-

a boy and a girl,

swaying with their hands entwined.

so. it was late.

and the weather could have been cooler

and the rum was filling our blood

and our thoughts

and the teenagers continued to play songs

we didn’t know

and we sat on the dock

and didn’t really speak

or move.

we just sat

and tried not to fall asleep

with my head on his shoulder-

his sweatshirt smelled like him, maybe light cologne and close quarters-

and his head almost resting on mine

and his hand

that knew how to use a gun

and button a uniform

and protect and defend

was on my knee.

it was big

and warm,

but not as warm as the weather,

and my hand had found its way to his


(i’m pretty sure it was my rum filled brain)

and we sat there

hands on my knee

folded together

with our heads resting on me and him

and below us

was the ocean

our lake with a boat and two people in love


and rolling

and quiet

and watching us

watch it

and not to sound cliche

but it really felt like

there was just me

and him

and our string light stars

and the music just for us

and the humid weather

and the empty bottle of captain in the trash

and those fish in the water

running out of time

we didn’t have.

fact or fiction
How does it work?
Read next: I Am A Bullet.
Meagan Zimmer

I'm writing a poetry book with one of my best friends, Molly Bosshart, titled, "This is a Hate Post"

conventional grammar and capitalization and i are at odds

See all posts by Meagan Zimmer