Saturday, October 11, 2014

God Bless Old Orchard Beach, Maine

Step between the clumps of weed
and tangled traps of trash. Footprints
in the shallow face of the damp sand
fill with pooled water.

Look out, past the wide horizon,
the stretched, vast blue;
point to the pinpoint,  where the hazed
hot sky meets the bumping, cresting waves;

walk, in between the hordes
of Canadian  tourists speaking in clouds
of broken French

feel the dry sand hot
as it collapses around your ankle

“We’re walking to the palm reader —
                  Yes,       In between the arcade and the train tracks.
Come with us.
This beach never changes. The brine
still clasps on the wooden legs of the Pier,
as it always has. The gulls still
swarm down on scraps of fries. Empty bottles
of coffee brandy still litter the darkness 
of the Pier's underbelly.

Long ago, I thought I could see England
from this beach. Long ago,
I thought I could swim to England from
this beach.

Long ago, when I was a child,  I was a tourist
walking these sands. I had a friend who lived here. We would
eat pizza and bodysurf in the shallows…
My friend left this world.
He didn’t swim to England, or swim across the sea.

He floats above my everything, as high as the open hazed blue ocean sky.”

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