Beach

I drove to the old neighborhood

on a Tuesday morning,

looking for a place inside of me

that was left untouched

by time and trying,

vacant of ego,

quiet of the voice of recompense.

I stepped out of the car

where Sachem Street

meets Quincy Bay,

climbed over the seawall

as the musk of low tide

drew me through the rear view,

when awkward was being and

narrow was the road to heaven.

Only now

can I see the revelations of

then,

in the blue below the Boston skyline

in the sand and cobble,

a curving line of dry seaweed, the

abandoned armor of a horseshoe crab,

the unhinged shell of a razor clam

lying loose of life.

Only now

can I hear the declarations of

then,

in wind on waves toned with

passing cars flowing and blowing

beneath the cries of

ghettoed gulls

and the cruel laughter of

Catholic girls in bathing suits

holding sway over the night

when dizzying echoes and cloddy utterances

harmonized in moonward song only

to fall

to earth

with protestant shame.

I do not always know

that I feel the presence of

now,

but if I do,

as I have been taught by dogs to pray,

it would be in waking moments

being born to the new day,

with eyes unsure to open,

with a fleshy heart unspurred,

before my human mind remembers

the reluctant grievance I hold against the shoreline

for letting me go

just because I could not stay.

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