Nocturne: Sunbathers


Ants in the sand drifted
here on the detritus of pines
lining the road at our backs.

Flies nibble the salt sheen
on Maddie’s tanning legs.
Yesterday, I buried her

so deeply, white sand clung
silkily to her chin long after
she brushed it free at sunset.

Now a wind kicks
grains, twigs, ants, all
unwelcome, into our faces.

She is a ghost of flour
ground from fine shells.
To imagine her anything

else in this moment
is as difficult as pinning
tendrils of ocean fog

between thumb and forefinger,
but we’ll both try tonight
when it rolls around us,

inexorable. We’ll comb
the shore, feel the ants
squirm among the star dark

treasures we’ll palm,
and the beating sea will retreat
as we trace her future in its wake.