From the collection “Beyond the Border Kingdom“.
ocean waves crash against the rotting pier
yellow tape snaps where the line sheared
jagged pylons protrude from blue sheen
holding the August sun captive.
slow steps in wet sand
waves wash my feet
deposit shells, stones and starfish.
a pale crab emerges
scurries behind the boulders.
summer drags forward
through the molasses sands.
hot sweat into the eyes
focus becomes singular
thoughts become focused
forced to go within.
that which we thought we knew
is only in the mind.
that which is true
is in the hands of the universe.
the building pressure does not relent
has no care of time, day, or place.
I feel… lost… something
inside, words provide no meaning,
that I struggle to name.
I walk the shore –
each stone burns
but I do not feel the sensation
that should travel the system of nerves
along the spine and into the brain
no, I do not feel much
the whiskey is good.
I hear and feel silence
the low murmur of things heating
as the sun rises toward noon
each cloud has burned away.
I believe I am alone here
on this isolated strip of beach
with thin and sparse vegetation
the dunes offer a barrier from the outside world.
This is life I tell myself
with a harsh voice
this is the life I have been left.
Seagulls pass overhead consumed
by the heavy air as the sea evaporates.
Where are you? I am here
at the meeting place we chose
the abandoned lighthouse –
peeling white paint,
padlock long ago broken
and the rusted chain,
with the upside down funnel roof
Sweat builds upon my brow
standing at the wrap around iron fence
I look out to sea
where the steaming water
meets the curved horizon
and I realize that out there
it is far from here.
What is my ticket
from here, what chance will I have?
The day drags on minute by minute.
I am aware of each tick of the clock.
And there you are passing the
same path I wandered
stopping near a dying starfish
one of the legs is missing
you stand there a few minutes perhaps hours
and with no change begin walking again
up the same ladder
and standing at the same iron fence.
The cracked glass shows with
great detail the sun’s glare
obscuring the merging bodies
as what was lost is found.