Barn Point


Talin Tahajian


I’ll always be where rainbows are,
forever in the Maine-bright stars,
when sunsets light the eveningtide,
with the moon in sparkling skies,
with the rising sun each morning,
with the quiet of dawn by the sea,
along the beloved rocks of the Point,
you will always be there with me…
— Alma “Honey” Nahigian


The coast tips into itself

and becomes the horizon. It’s almost miraculous

how little of it I could ever describe. The waves

breaking white and white against the castle rocks

and barnacles—life exists

on every holy side. A cricket

from a side I cannot see. My grandmother

sitting right here, on the same

crumbling wall, or next to me, on another

side of things I cannot see. From her precious

letters, written for the saving

some thirty years ago, I watch the sunset

with her, or alongside her. For a century,

my ancestors have been watching the same

small scan of horizon, Boon Island winking

from so far away. Almost a miracle

it sits so perfectly on the edge.

My friends and someone I love

are even so much farther. I would have broke mine eye-strings

against the ocean, everything in the universe

is the same color. The beach moves

as its thousands of tiny wolf spiders, who,

in their camouflaged grey-brown scurrying, seem

themselves to be the very shore shivering

in the dusky cold, as in, from Plato,

λύκον ἰδεῖν, to see a wolf, as

in, to be struck dumb, a kind of awe

reserved for the wild. The rocky coast itself

alive. Imagine that. It is so precious.

And someday, I’m afraid

it won’t exist. In writing, we can say things

after we die. Isn’t that just amazing. To exist forever

in the Maine-bright stars. She could feel time slipping

when she wrote that, my mom says, who was my age

at the time, twenty-one, when Honey was hers.

Mothers and daughters just refrains of one another.

I need to have a daughter when I’m thirty

to continue the lineage.

I want to write a poem that predicts the future.

A line like that last one. Feeling her space and time

closing in, says my mom on the phone.

We’re not made to think of ourselves as temporary.

Behind me, the beach roses sway, but almost as if

they’re not. The old sky dims and the buoy bell sings

the tide, just as it’s always done, and

I can’t even describe the rocking stillness of it.