Atlantic Alternatives

Haibun Poetry, atlantic
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Haibun Poetry


In another life, I’m too late.

My son Frankie and his cousin Mia swim out too far. The waves at Robert Moses State Park swallow them. I cry out. They can’t hear me. I rush into the water, grab Mia’s hand. Frankie slips away from me, caught in the relentless riptide.

In another life, the lifeguards somehow retrieve him. They lay him on the sand. Perform CPR. But I see his face is swollen, and blue. His chest rises and falls with each lifeguard’s saving exhale—and only with each exhale. Mira collapses next to Frankie, screaming his name, her tears staining the sand. The guards work until a supervisor—a paramedic—calls it.

In another life, my son lies in a pearl casket. I shudder and fall to my knees. Crying so loudly that no one dares touch me. Cries my son never hears.

In another life, I’m too late.

But not in this one.

Crushing high tide
My arm surrounding my son
Pulling him ashore


Photograph from

Image Curve’s Manifesto

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Frank J. Tassone

Frank J. Tassone lives in New York City's "back yard" with his wife and son. He fell in love with writing after he wrote his first short story at age 12 and his first poem in high school. He began writing haiku and haibun seriously in the 2000s. His haikai poetry has appeared in Failed Haiku, Cattails, Haibun Today, Contemporary Haibun Online, Contemporary Haibun, The Haiku Foundation and Haiku Society of America member anthologies. He is a contributing poet for the online literary journal Image Curve, and a performance poet with Rockland Poets. When he's not writing, Frank works as a special education high school teacher in the Bronx. When he's not working or writing, he enjoys time with his family, meditation, hiking, practicing tai chi and geeking out to Star Wars, Marvel Cinema and any other Sci-Fi/Fantasy film and TV worth seeing.

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