(on South Padre Island, Texas)

Azure resonance. A glistening.
Yellow heat. A glistening.
Sun-struck, liquor-whipped iris-portals—
Like eyes within eyes
That refuse to close—
Now frame an image, her image,
Against the deep background, in this—
My rend(er)ing of June.

The green sea blossoms
In white, rhythmically.
Thrusts forward
Against soft lands,
Then retreats, again.
And her oily, brown flesh—
Flawless and glossy—
Declares that excellence
Implies rarity.

Drying skin, my reader, walks
The tightrope of the sun’s caprice,
And that sunbather’s pierced brow
Flaunts a golden halo.

Sometimes the sun goddess
Is sand under toenails.
Sometimes—when she looks
Your way—she flirts with
The gravel of the tongue.
She glistens always.

This empress of the solstice—
I’ve heard she’s made doctors
Moonlight as undertakers.
I’ve heard she’s the contradictions
We embrace.
I’ve heard she’s what you
Don’t want when you know
You want something.
I’ve heard she’s as arcane as
You think she is.

It’s all about the flesh.
And her pierced brow.
All about that halo, like
A corona without a sun,
Or perhaps, a corona
For her shining sun.
About the wind and water and
Salt-smell, the sun’s strong stare,
The rhythmic crashing
Of things outside and inside us.

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Kjell Nykvist

Bryan Damien Nichols was born in Houma, Louisiana, on August 30, 1978. He earned a B.A., summa cum laude, in Philosophy from Baylor University, and a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law. He has practiced law in both Houston and in the Rio Grande Valley. Bryan currently lives in Los Fresnos, Texas, with his loving wife, Michelle. In his poetry, Bryan writes through two different heteronyms: (1) Kjell Nykvist; and (2) Alexander Shacklebury. Generally speaking, Kjell provides an optimistic worldview, while Alexander provides a pessimistic worldview. Kjell and Alexander are not mere “extensions” of Mr. Nichols; instead, each heteronym is a unique character with his own personality, poetic style, and biography. Biographies of the heteronyms are available upon request.

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