Eric Machan Howd

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Eric Machan Howd

Undertow was selected for MSUL’s themed call for work about Water, in coordination with the MSU Broad Art Museum’s fall 2023 exhibition, Flint is Family in Three Acts, featuring the photography of Latoya Ruby Frazier.

We argue over the memory of words
and how you were taken by the ocean
in Key West and buffeted between
black rocks and rip currents until fear
led you to a world beyond me.

Such are the days of the long-married
bickering over the details of recollection
breaking over each other's words in
conversation and pulling each other out
beyond the edge of tattered histories.

Just yesterday two boys were pulled
by the sea as they tried catching waves 
off Asbury Park and nobody noticed
their small hands clawed dark sand
as breakers stifled their panicked screams.

What blessings gravity gives us daily
the pull of bed at night for our bones
apples felled and bruised for sweet cider.
No one expects the moon to do anything
but shine for lovers parked along the beach.

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