Poetry: (I Want) Something to Show for It | clivejames.com
[Invisible line of text as temporary way to expand content column justified text width to hit margins on most viewports, simply for improved display stability in the interval between column creation and loading]

(I Want) Something to Show for It

I’m not the kind who treasures
love notes in the sand, laid bare
for the lobstered swimsuit mob

to stare at, for the tide to lick
away. I want a token,
solid, in my hand. Something

with staying power, not easily lost
or broken. Do you understand?
You murmur, puzzled by my greed,

“What is it that you want a thing
to show for, anyway?” You may
well ask. It’s just a zero,

universal emptiness. It
brings forth nothing except need,
and the truth is, souvenirs

won’t do the trick: no poseur
snaps, no neat, insipid
diaries, no sickly rock,

unusual pebbles, musty shells. I want
the shining cliffs, the posh hotel,
the whole shebang. The waiters

running across emerald lawns,
their heavy silver platters
raised in skilful hands. I want

the tacky postcard carousels,
the smugly clinking tills, the dumpy
women sweating at their counters

every summer, summer-long,
as well. I want their oily husbands
grinning now from ear to ear —

I am the sea come to swallow the pier.