Thursday, October 8, 2015



Katmai exhales.
Salmon flail and fly,
while the gales throw pink 
into the alpenglow.

The King leaves markers in moss,
his claws crush cutbanks
like fingers scratching suede.

The King is coated 
in golden river-water. He is
outlined by a softening sun. 
His roar rumbles—until 

the gunshot. 

Katmai’s king is still.

He sinks with the setting sun.

The Sun Can't Save Us

On that weekday morning we 
walked across the warming sand
toward the wide water we 
knew so well. 

And towels we set down were blown 
around by wind: a wind 
we hoped would blow away
our sins.

But in the water we were cleansed,
but in the end we are both sons
of Adam, and the bright sunlight 
can’t save us.

Walking out wet and dripping, 
intoxicated by the comforts:
the warming sand, the water that we knew
so well, 

We laid back on our backs 
and let the clouds shroud us

But the linen shirt over my face 
couldn’t shade me from the shame—
couldn’t shade me from the same sun
that couldn’t save us.

About James Freitas:
James Freitas is a New England poet. His work has been featured in The Santa Clara Review, The Commonline Journal, and is forthcoming in Poetry Pacific and others. 

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