By the Sea
I am blinded by the crystalline sunlight
The wind puffs its way through the stalwart greenery
and whistles around the curve in an artery

By the Sea
time is thorough and kind
I discard reason
and genuflect warily to my desire

By the Sea
my teenage daughters provoke in me a bewildering grief
the oldest with a new tattoo upon the back of her neck
she with little patience for tenderness
somehow endured the poke of those needles

By the Sea
I mourn their absence
though they sit beside me
lost in their unseen worlds
I long to let emotion well up between us
touch with lingering fingers
gaze openly at them and the horizon
without holding back
for fear of that heavy door that closes sharply and suddenly
I fail to understand what connects me to them
since they weaned from my breast those many years ago

By the Sea
I wrestle with the ghost of the mother
who stalks me eternally from behind
I hold my breath
to avoid inhaling that repugnant, all-pervasive perfume
yet it starves me of oxygen
at the same time

By the Sea
taking a shit is like giving birth
calm the nerves, relax the organs
feed broken sticks into the fire to scare off the wolves
fashion a safe nest lined with new wool for the blessed event

By the Sea
I recant and confess
try to clear my lungs of the blackened tar
of my father’s hatred
to drain my left hip and leg
of the grip of my mother’s suffering
attempt to locate my soul
in the mystifying landscape of my body

By the Sea
I look for my Beloved
I long for his smell and his touch
the complex blending of skin tones,
pale arm hairs with curly chest hairs,
and light rays and force fields,
but reject the possibilities based on technicalities

By the Sea
I dirty my feet in the dark sand
the dried crust on the surface
almost too hot to bear
yet I sink with a crunch into the soft, damp coolness beneath
meeting the underbelly of the beach
with trepidation and excitement

By the Sea
I had a moment
I staggered and bellowed like a drunken heathen
swinging my arms and stomping
enunciating myself clearly
but then it was gone
the prison of decorum
and ancient primitive threat returned
forbidding my splayed legs and wrathful appetite
and the illumination of my womb
leaving me with a parched thirst
for the elemental tides
and the sway of the morning dew

By the Sea
the fog coats the sky invisibly
so you can only see it by what you can’t
suddenly the ocean itself is gone completely
and the row of three houses on the cliffs —
one sawdust and two smoke —
launches into empty space