Malibu Postcard

By Peter Halstead

Two lovers on a quiet strand,
Captives of a cardboard land
Which routinely hijacks
Honeymooners’ flashbacks
Transposed into a tourist icon
By the power of the mighty Nikon
And its immortalizing lens
Whose tacky feat the couple sends,
Reeking of its cardboard sands,
The sunset trembling in their hands,
The postal ocean in their pulse—
The real created by the false,
Whose pseudo truth is even marred
(Beyond the confines of the card)
By what all simulated lovers dread:
The giant waves that toward them head,
Now rescued just before the blow
By the picture’s paralyzing show,
Transported here against their will
To live above a windowsill
On the honeymoon they planned.
They still are picturesquely tanned
If not by summers long ago
Then by the kitchen’s neon glow
And, considering what evils lurk
Beyond the window’s constant murk—
That wave, the endless threat of dying—
I admire them for trying
To rise above their sordid fates
Despite outlandish airmail rates,
So precisely did they time it,
To zip off to a drier climate.