Salt

On the beach
after the fat man with the drunkard’s nose had gone
and the ice cream vendors selling elsewhere
and the screaming children were safely at home,
he remains with the torn wrappers and empty bottles,
with the flies feasting on the remnants
of someone’s carefully discarded lunch.
He remains with the wind and the sand.

Scattered driftwood seems almost new,
glistening like a newborn babe,
in the setting red glare.

He walks along the surf and breathes the salty air.
The sky grows darker, the water grows colder.
Suddenly,
there is no more driftwood,
it has gone the way of all children.
Dull red rusted metal remains
from what once must have been a ship
that carried the hopes of long-dead lovers.

Are we to be like them he thinks
as she arrives and the lighthouse beacon begins its lonely vigil.
Shivering, he looks
at her bare moon-blanched shoulders
gleaming like the salty foam.
She takes the cigaret out of her mouth
and kisses him slowly exploring.
They make love surrounded by pine trees,
branches bent from the wind,
roots crawling from the sea.
Needles prick as he enters the open flesh.
In the distance, alight slowly moves toward the horizon.
On the beach, metal lies scattered like pieces
of a man torn apart by doubt.
Her salty taste lingers on his tongue.

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