Rockaway Beach, 2001
It is early for the beach, but I love the morning air
before it smothers,
when it smells like sheets dried on Mama’s clothesline.
He’s still sleeping across the street
in the sixth floor apartment
and I’m wide awake,
watching cirrostratus spiders
chase the sky.
I cling to this quiet before the crowd comes,
sinking into sand and ocean
at the edge of the world.
The ululating cry of a hungry seagull echoes,
relentless, like the folding waves
that tuck themselves against the Atlantic coast.
The rising sun skips like shale over water
and onto my hand, pausing to admire itself
in the gold band around my finger.
Looking back, the apartment is barely visible,
and I wonder how we managed to get so far apart.
I walk on, following a trail of slivered shells
tossed with a billion crumbled earths.
– Kathryn Cody