the beach the sea
The old man strewn prone upon a green blanket when we arrived. I’d say 11, she 11:30.
She, Marie, a meticulous clock, a camera, voice recorder meme artist supreme, was correct.
The sun-baker began making for us croissants of our bodies.
Avoiding a death wish, small scale, pain at least: at 12 we oiled each other. At 12:15 the old man rose and waddled w/ gritty determination was it determinism?
into the older, colder sea
I casually observed at 1st a brave ol’ soul.
Then a start, while he drove himself relentlessly into the oncoming waves as if he was wading to Japan. You can walk out here a quarter mile before you have to jump for air.
A refrigerator, probably from Fukushima, glided by him inbound. It stuck, sunk dumbly into the sand, tired-as-work from the battering trip
(excessive agitation for a fridge).
It wormed into the sand and began to wriggle into its new continent with each thrusting undulation of its odd friends: the currents, tides, and myriad procrastinations of the sea.
The old man shrank to a mere head-bulb bobbing alone past the easy shore-breakers. He was approaching the big ones out past the flats before the solitary floating surfers. He was their guest now.
“Get him!” You said firmly.
I did not want to tell you this in your innocence: “Darling. There are 3 types of people, besides the one type you are. There are the losers, the winners, and their thugs. Which is he?”
You hit me.
“Save him!” you commanded.
I remember looking at you as at a goddess, #8886 of the Upper 10,000.
I rose and started out to sea.
I could barely see him plowing ahead--away--from the swells which rose up like whales beneath my icy belly.
OK. I’d told you.
But i was not.
i wanted to be with you forever…so bad i left you for Japan.
So bad i left You for japan.
This is the poem I would have read to you so many times before the times when I was hurt and could not think of it within my pain, which was busily teaching me another poem a song of longing to be whole and free/i think now.
i forget more now. marie
i know i am too tired to reach japan.
i cannot even see the old man’s head any more.
This is my attempt—a dream of mine as i go now--out to sea as you suggested—to write the very best poem I ever could--so heavy yet so light upon the wings of a swimmer--ever written…as time floats perfectly…
To give to you.
i realize now, how, i barely, if ever did, faintly, know you…
the cold old man, his green blanket.
This is the best day of my life.