Every touch creates a tidemark.
Behind it, the sounding sea, the rush
and swell of blood in capillaries
of ears or throat; air breaking on the beach
of your chest, the fading surf of shame,
the receding tide of insult, and eventually,
the full moon at the still pivot, high tide,
my hands coming to rest, a momentary sense
of plenitude. It will not stay. I did not make it.
Ten thousand advertisements say
they want a walk on the beach and a glass
of some wine better than they knew at home.
Is it disrespect to say I don't believe it?
to say the wind is skating disregarded feathers
on wide and empty sand-shelves even now?
I don't know much, but the moon does come
to sit with me on cloudy evenings, and he brings
a gallon of home-brewed yarrow beer to split.
He tells me all about how people hide from him,
How he rises over bunchgrass and glittering silica
where nothing but cellophane wrappers go for walks.
And a gruff tenderness comes into his pocked face
when he speaks of low tide, of wincing things exposed
that have no recourse, no defense against the sun.
He rises, snaps his weed-pouch shut, and sighs.
It's back to work for him, and for me, it's sheets to wash,
bottles of lavender oil and cloudlight to refill.