I sat down yesterday to write about Valentine’s Day, and this happened. Perhaps another day, I will sit down to write about heartbreak, and a bubblegum pop lyric will erupt. Who knows? This is still not finished, but I’m “airing it out.” Figure if I shake it hard, like a throw rug, the dust and cat hair will fly loose, and perhaps there will be a poem in the end. Eventually there will be a title.
The tide kept changing the cream-colored foam line
in a little, back a little, a subtle dent forming in the sand
where each lick ended and the next didn’t quite meet.
The dull sky and a cold wind, full of wet and salt, a breath
beating on my face, which was good. I had an excuse
to wipe my eyes now and then. It was too hard to speak
so I walked away south toward a ruined jetty, the rocks
floundering in low tide, seaweed flossed between them,
barnacles and crabs contending with a tangle of trash.
The beach was empty except for us, and the seagulls
of course, who found us wanting. We had nothing to give
and they stalked further out into the surf looking for better
for worse, for something alive enough to break the surface
with bubbles of air. The Atlantic rolled tiny black mussel shells
smooth as eyes; a blink of iridescence cupped in my hands.
You reclined on cold sand, long lines of blue and green and white,
a marker left, an x to indicate where beginning starts. And I
turned back into biting wind, and wet salt, and birds crying.