And the Poets Down Here...

Meet Us In Asbury
by Trina Scordo

Young buff butches
in jeans and tees
on the east end
of Sunset howl,
"Meet us
on the boardwalk
in Asbury."  They rev
their chrome engines
in front of the Palace
and wait for the Empress
to raise her Friday night
dress.  She orders the jest
to spin the carnival lights
through the mist.
They cruise
the bronze beach girls
in cut-off shorts
and bikini tops.  Whirl
on the rides as the sun
goes down on Ocean Mile.
They howl, " Meet us
in Asbury
on that south end strip."
Look for postcard scenes
Joey and Marie
the scream machines
whizzing scooter rides
swimming after dark
in high tides.
They worship
in cheap greasy grills
anticipate the thrill
of Hawaiian Tropic
on young bodies. Seaside Romeos
dance in the Casino
and adolescent kings
bang dimes into pinball
machines one last time
before the fall

October chill drives
in the silk suited
city boss. He eyes
local beach money
gambles workers' wages
and never breaks
a sweat.  On the north
end pier he collects
debts and brags
to his boys, " I cut
the deal in Asbury."
He seals fate
with unfinished cement
and rusted steal.  Empty structures
loom over the Jersey jetties.
Scattered on Ocean Ave
the fallen greasers lay
their union cards still
tucked in the back pocket
of tight fitting Levis.
From the faded planks
of the boardwalk
they howl, "Meet  us
in Asbury by the murmur
of the foam kissed sand."
Where veterans sit
huddled in the mist.
Skeletons of this
deserted playland.