Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Coast Guard Beach

The crosshatched light has suffered 
all the way from Spain. Wind rattles
the flags at the coast guard station.
A few kites brave the gloom. Your footprints
impress little tide pools. Placing
my feet in them, I feel pebbles 
roll like eyeballs in whorls of sand.

A framework spiked from driftwood
huddles against the bluff. Carven
“LOCALS ONLY” warns away
the casual tourist. Charcoal
and a ring of fish-heads and shells
assert that varieties of hunger 
distinguish species from species. 

Despite the presence of your footprints
you’ve never walked this surly beach,
never committed yourself to solving
the presumptions of breaking surf.
Seven hundred miles offshore today
a tropical storm is rending charts
to detour shipping north and south.
If I followed your footprints 
far enough that storm would impale me. 

Framed by the driftwood structure I note
a shadow precisely like yours 
elongate against the grain of light 
and wonder that you’d impose yourself 
so boldly on such primal matter. 
You gain nothing but worship of stone,
weed and shell, an effort spent
to impress and comfort us both 
in some distant parallel plane.