Thirteen Thoughts on the Seaside
by Mainon A Schwartz
The sea was eighteen shades
Of blue and green: turquoise, aqua, ultramarine.
Then the clouds came, and the colors calmed
Into a single shade of silver-grey.
Two women are kissing.
People stare, but my boyfriend says,
Occupe-toi de tes oignons,
Occupy yourself with your onions--
Mind your own business.
In this shimmering summer heat,
Bodies turn salty to match the sea.
I wore glasses so I could see
The line between earth and sky.
But here I am reminded
That this line does not exist.
Beside us, a man has brought
Beef jerky and beer to the beach.
He sits alone,
Belching quietly at the birds.
The tide carried her out to sea.
The tide came back;
She did not.
Between the crashing of waves
On the shoreline, the water gurgles
Like a child
Blowing bubbles in the bathtub.
I questioned only once
The weight of water on my shoulders
I was answered with mouthfuls of salt.
One golden retriever sits at the water's edge
And barks only at things bigger than she is.
Sand glitter, glued with saltwater
Onto a blue tattoo:
A child's kindergarten masterpiece.
Only the macaroni
A black-and-white speckled rock appears
Under the sandals of a woman leaving the shores.
She says, I've never seen anything like it--
I'll take it home, and use it as a paperweight.
Her boyfriend says, It's only asphalt,
And tells her to throw it back.
A small boy holds the leash of a puppy
And pulls it along, carelessly,
While his mother holds his hand
And pulls him the same way.
Swimsuits a size too small
Make the fat squeeze out the sides.
Someone should tell her.
Posted on 06/09/2005
Copyright © 2023 Mainon A Schwartz