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When I found myself
on the shore, alone
with the gulls and
ghostcrabs, I was
already old, lazy.
So I became a breakwater for
waves that pound the
palisades. I sat in a
canvas beach chair
or smoked, leaning
against the cliffs.
Days, I dragged
driftwood from all
over the beach.
The scrapings of
rotted planks are still
imprinted in the sand.
A bonfire was what
I was building.
So when the tide
came for me,
I would have something.
Nights I slept by
the fire.  I'd line up
my collection
of broken metal detectors
and fishing rods like
foreign flag poles.
Then, I grew too old.
At the end of my life
my legs were
whittled down
by the tide, my knees like
mossy rocks.
I drowned like a
fleshy fishweight.
At the bottom I found
my lost woman.
A small white statue
of a fertility goddess
I threw into the sea
when we lived on the
dunes, my wife
and children.
I'd didn't know
I had been
looking for her.
Pregnant eyes,
eroded mouth,
breasts like large acorns.
I kissed her with my tongue
until my lungs filled up.
My last feeling is of shame
Seeing the cliffs
as they look underwater,
and realizing that they were made of glass.
I had kissed another woman.
I'd forgot my children's names.

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