On Cannon beach in the shade
of Haystack Rock we place a chair.
Cheap gray plastic with arms,
it looks uneasy enough to flee
if it could. The surf booms and sighs.
The foam ripples up to the chair
and retreats. We’ve set it exactly
on the line between land and sea
so that we can spend an hour
or two evolving in the cloud-light
of April. We sit together
in a lump of flesh and cuddle.
The distance from here to Japan
seems slight enough to cross
by paddling the wooden canoe
hanging in my garage. Looking
down the beach toward California
we agree that when the tsunami comes
the erasure will be so powerful
it will even remove this chair
from the furthest, darkest corners
of our memories. But for now
we clutch each other in handfuls
of ego and ignore the stares
of other couples shuffling along
wet sand or wading in the wash.
The shadow of the rock shifts,
a sundial too massive to point
with precision. We pose until dusk,
then unfold ourselves and stand,
and leave the chair for high tide
to purify, our afterglow
visible only from the moon.