Regression of the Sandbar

Rohshaye Lincoln

In the same violent way an oyster intrudes
upon the soft tissue behind the hardened
heel of the foot, a grown man jumps off
a boat into the splintered water. Seconds
later his bare backside breaches the surface
of the sea, he pedals his way back towards
the sunken sandbar that the boat is struggling
to leave behind. As the captain navigates
a fluid U-turn, the man—a friend of your
father—oscillates and begins a series
of languid backstrokes that propel him
across the water. Nobody covers your eyes,
though you are too young to witness this,
so instead you imagine him as a bird, trapped
in the volary of a man’s body, searching
for a way out.


ROHSHAYE LINCOLN is a junior at the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities in South Carolina where he resides as a creative writer. He has won two Gold Keys in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for one poem and one short story, and a Silver Key for a portfolio of poems. He enjoys reading poets such as Hanif Abdurraqib, Mark Wunderlich, Mary Ruefle, and Louise Glück.