At the Beach


We are putting something to one another and I am waiting for you to say something round.  Breasts, maybe asses.  I say fingers, but I'm thinking necks.  We play this game as we watch expensively constructed women neglect their babies.  The babies splash around in tide pools that have been declared off-limits by the State Ecological Society.  The tide pools are jackpots brimming with starfish spines and the lapping tongues of anemones—so many unformed bodies—and now they are brimming with babies, another type of body.  The women don't get too near the babies or the water because it will disappear something delicate that has refused to leave them.  You say, I touched a woman like that once.  You say, We are surrounded by wrists so fragile and worth so much.  I fall into my towel, dream of high school.  From the concession stand where I sold snow cones on Saturday nights, I had memorized the identically tanned necks of two umpires.  They were brothers who came to my window at night, knocked on my glass.  Their names began with an A, I tell you.  But this might not be true because, although I'm saying A, I am thinking necks, nothing more nothing less.  When the sun arrives directly overhead you tell me that the women's beauty will refuse to leave us.  Babies, round and white, buoy insignificantly.  Sleeping lifeguards dream of indoor employment.  You twist a finger into mine.  Then through the back of my head, hooking into the soft spot.  

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