Scoundrel Time


(In memory of America)

We find ourselves where the waves drag bodies
onto the beach.  Our fingers rake the sand,
our breath salts the air, shells and seaweed spill
from our pockets like strange currencies.


Out there somewhere float rafts of plastic
twice as big as Texas, vast armadas of junk,
the guts of every fish filled with bottle-bits,
dregs of jugs, those exfoliating microbeads
delivered by the riverful to the sea.


But our skin was so soft and flushed from sun!
Our supple lips leapt like trout to catch
the wayward kisses, our every atom doing
the dance of yes.  So of course we ignored
the waves with their whispered auguries.
Of course we mocked their thunder.  We read
only maps that warned us not of monsters,
made gaudy landmarks of ourselves way out
in the middle of the ocean.


Oh we danced a loose-limbed conga once,
combed the swells for sprigs and frigates,
listened for intercontinental missives spilled
from the mouths of birds.  The waves
devoured our footprints.  We just made more.

We never once stopped laughing.

We never knew what hit us.


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