American Culture · American Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · LGBT · Non-fiction · Passage · Poetry · Queer

Mark Doty

What was it I meant to tell you? …

How the shore’s a huge armoire
       full of gowns, all its drawers packed

and gleaming?  Something about pleasure
       and excess: thousands of foamy veils,
            a tidal wrack of emerald, glamor

of froth-decked, dashed pearl bits.
       A million earrings rinsed in the dawn.
              I wish you were here.

— Mark Doty, from “A Letter from the Coast,” Atlantis: Poems (HarperPerennial 1995)

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