Beach Hymn

It’s right, it’s bright.
It’s brighter than
the light of the Lord out here…

At the shore there is no one
between me and the Lord, save
a thousand sleeping fish and
men hunting for hidden oil.
I walk along the coast, right
at the edge where tide rubs away
the land like an eraser, only
to pencil it back in twelve hours
later.  I leave footprints in the
sand, shallow sculptures wrought
of endless shards of glass, whose
sides have been polished smooth
by the alabaster pull of the moon,
sucked clean of color by the glaring
sun.  These footprints are my only
testament, proof that I’ve sought
communion with something bigger.
They alone would save me—
if not for the caustic waves, tricky as
atheist preachers, which keep on
washing my offering away.

When the wave feints into the shore
its body vanishes.  But the
water remains, unchanged.

—Navarre, FL


A fire hydrant drowns in the sand.
It prays for the waves to reach its feet,
to lubricate its spigot with the shining randomness
of which only ocean is capable—
toy rubber dinosaurs, light bulbs, mismatched shoes,
mismatched socks, chairs missing a leg, saran wrap.
It gave up years ago looking for the perfect shell,
its pipes thick with grit, its undelivered postcard beauty
in no way self-consoling. O, hydrant, wait, wait—
the clouds grow blue with chaos,
the pelicans flee in threes;
your time is coming.