Sheila-Na-Gig online


Millicent Borges Accardi

Millicent Borges Accardi, a Portuguese-American writer, is the author of two poetry books, most recently Only More So (Salmon Poetry). Her awards include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Fulbright, CantoMundo, Creative Capacity, the California Arts Council, The Corporation of Yaddo, Fundação Luso-Americana, and Barbara Deming Foundation, “Money for Women.” She’s led poetry workshops at Keystone College, Nimrod Writers Conference, The Muse in Norfolk, Virginia, and University of Texas, Austin. Her non-fiction can be found in The Writers Chronicle, Poets Quarterly, and the Portuguese American Journal. Recent readings at Brown University, Rutgers, UMass Dartmouth, Rhode Island College and the Carr Reading Series at the University of Illinois. Recent poems in New American Writing, The Journal and Another Chicago Magazine.

Drowning Lined in the Sand

It was a sign of discouragement
The outlined pattern near a castle
Left behind, like a utility line
Lingering on the ground without juice

We walked past Muscle Beach
That winter, the brilliance of the
Sun cut down by clouds, the durability
Of the boardwalk weathering
Change. The giant chess
Game, lined up before the
Ocean bleachers, a sign of
Redemption among the ruin

The fences erected to fight
Erosion, keep out the tourists
Too, fires burning the last
Synagogue and the house
Next door.

That year, the tents moved in
Taking out the street vendors
Hawking bags of rolled up
Socks and T-shirts three for
Twenty dollars, wrapped
And held into place with rubber bands.

On the side streets below
Lincoln, near Oakwood
Off Abbot Kinney, the trucks
And vans set up house
With buckets and taglines
Hooked into the electrical
Poles, bootlegged backyard
Hoses, stretched nearly
A block, warm bodies huddled

Together in insanity or honor
But never both, an offseason.
Like when we are patriotic or what we have instead.
%d bloggers like this: