Burial and A Light That Always Goes Out by Branden Boynton


We spread you off the point,
under the silent gaze of Cabrillo.

The sea was calm then,
what remained sinking softly

into the rising tide.
We wanted to give you another chance

to churn into the growing foam,
so the last wave you rode in

wouldn’t lead to a body collapsed
in the sand, but spread

and growing,
encircling every shore.



A Light That Always Goes Out

I text you drunk and you don’t text back.
A silent blank screen, no vibration.
And maybe I’m just feeling lonely, or it’s possible you’re busy.
Maybe you’re just leaving me dark to annoy me,
or perhaps you have decided that you never want to reply.

I text you drunk and you don’t text back,
so I go down to the lake to yell at the geese there.
Scatter their honking throats through the starry night with my own call –
down feathers trailing behind them in the wind like falling confetti.
I haul stones into the waters, watch them plummet into the depths
and listen to the satisfying thunk and sink,
the disruption of weeds and trout,
destruction of rotting wood.

I text you drunk and you don’t text back.
The empty phone in my pocket itches –
creeps and burns like a coal fire
sending me staggering into the streets where I pick locks to back doors,
overturn mailboxes and deface street signs, wreck picket fences.
I run raw my heels beating down pavement,
blister my bleeding soles –
embed gravel and asphalt into the seared smoking flesh of my feet.

I text you drunk and you don’t text back
by the time I slink into bed.
So I leave the vinyl spinning –
drift off to the Smiths.
And dream of the bomb, the bomb,
the bomb. The bomb
that will bring us together.

Branden Boynton is earning his MFA in creative writing at San Diego State University, where he works as a contributing editor with Poetry International and The B-Side Journal. He believes in writing as both catharsis and as a creation of truth. He writes to where he feels at home: the stars, sky, and ocean, desert-scapes, Disneyland, California highways, concert venues, and conifer trees.