hilton head 7.16.17
little people squat and throw sand for the first time. they say no-verb sentences like “daddy, beach” and are painted SPF50-white; they find things no one is looking for like shovels and “wa wa” and cigarette butts and can focus for fractions of seconds.
big men cigar and have flaps of back meat that could be muscle or fat. they carry banners of clemson and ole miss and ohio state and very cooly catch frisbees not meant for them. pirate flags are hoisted on houses of non-pirates as grilles smoke “America”.
walking down the beach, you are watched by every person and seen by no one. there are an abundance of yard games being played, some so fresh that they aren’t yet common at midwest picnics. the ocean doesn’t want to get deep or doesn’t quite know how, slowly, gradually, out and down.. like flat steps that are unnecessarily long.
wading in, i swim with the old man and the sea — i swim with albert einstein, with reds and shrimps and stingray and baby hammerheads. i swim with kids in nemo-water wings and germanic, gray-brown-haired parents from heartland states. I swim with shelled hermits and gutted horseshoe crabs of prehistoria. neither taps or showers, pools nor ocean quite know how to get cool; they are like bathwater someone else has been in. starfish sprawled, the sun blankets (lava-orange and bubbling) — we tan our hides like leather-smiths or kardashians.
returning, feet burning on sun-sponged sand,
there’s lots to carry and few to do it.
at home, you can hear the ocean if you cup your hand over your ear,
and when you don’t.