While inland nesters roast on a spit,
we sooth our brows in thin silver
mist like a dreamy photo’s vignette.

I tell my host I want to dip
my skin in the Atlantic.

Beyond the boardwalk’s failing arm,
our feet mine silt beneath grains,
deeper with each passing ocean tress.

I boast to her how the chilling waves
on my ankles are a fun kind of pain.

Retreating toward grass, our toes receive
the mild vengeance of seashell fragments—
raw love like a cat’s sandpaper tongue.

As the noon rays seep through clouds
sliding seaward, she warms into a smile.

Curling around migratory fowl, space-time
works up a good day’s sweat. Oily foam
trembles in the breeze, discarded by the tide.

Luna’s purifying month traces the backs
of our necks, with well-rested fingertips.

Poet’s Note:

Image of Bethune Beach in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, by Jake Christensen