I couldn’t have more than one soft drink.
You weren’t in the mood to dance.
We might’ve lost the seashell you sent last Christmas/
They won’t replace it at the store.
All morning the cartoon koala. Essential oil.
I couldn’t have been clear about what I wanted;
you weren’t nodding or saying, I got it, we might’ve
known the ocean is a flak jacket,
taking rounds of “They won’t,” bodies returned
to shore all morning, bloated sand
washed from our glasses—better to eye
the wave rolling back/
into itself—blubber and blood
towed from our mouths.
The crustaceans croon
for slices of light, for young bare feet
and what do we do but follow
the footprints never leaving
the beach. Cooler of sodas and boom box
for dancing. It’s Christmas, and the tree is a sand
castle. I bought the world
so now it’s my store—my koala
mimicking itself in the glass pane.
All morning the plankton and I
tried to empty the sand of its coffer
moist dollars, to feel and fossil.
Image courtesy of Connie Reyes
You can see barn wreckage
cropping the rise. Great-grandpa
tilled this sorry soil he slouches
over. Not looking for jettisoned
reentry scrap; mere roaming.
You can see a grainy beard, wisps
surfing the breeze. The first
ears of corn without intergalactic
tariffs. A little space-oil on the side,
moon-boot thrusters, rings carved
from Saturn’s surface. You can
see the rocket cattails
tower-humped in the swooning dale:
what excrement provides gratis.
The cow-trail a mystery no sleuth
hankers after. You can see moonbeams
cluster on his glass eye. You can see
how words miss his mouth; lank dome
of gravity’s arm-bar spidering earth.