by Bud Smith

Flannery O'Connor's

Collected Short Stories 

is too big to bring to the beach

so I take a razor blade 

and cut down the center of the spine

making two smaller books

one book has 

“A Good Man Is Hard To Find

on that I glue Rodan! The Flying Monster!

wrapped around, front to back

to keep the spine together 

a bandage made

from a glossy junk magazine

the other razor blade half 

has  “Everything That Rises 

Must Converge

on that one 

I glue, Godzilla emerging  

from a bubbling 

red sea

while I get sunburnt

and read the book

someone comes by

selling cans of beer 

out of a black 

plastic bag

they ask about 

my strange books

I say

“They're about 

a woman 

who was attacked 

by a wolf

but somehow survived

he is also selling beach towels

replicating the Puerto Rican flag

or others with peacocks 

purple and green 

but I am fine, laying on hot sand

I buy a frozen mango slushy 

to go with my can of beer

it all tastes like a fizzy demonic peach

out in the ocean 

I spy a cargo ship 

trolling across a difficult horizon.