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On Disappearing at the Beach

On a cold evening, I wanted to smoke
a cigarette beneath the gibbous moon
and watch the shellfish struggle in the tide
even though I could not smell the sea
I laid my weary head down on stone
and half-asleep I half began to dream

and although I know I'm not quite your dream
(you think I hide behind mirrors, behind smoke)
I am not as fickle as the moon
and my emotions aren't the tide
and if you'd walked with me down by the sea
I could have traced your shape on crumbling stone

Instead, you bought a quarry pizza stone
and alone measured flour in your dream
kitchen, with new detectors but no smoke
to brown hand-painted walls as pale as moon
nor to mar brand new tile time and tide
have weathered into sandstone by the sea.

I dreamt I sailed an angry silver sea
towards a city walled in steel and stone,
though half-asleep I could not break my dream
the city did not burn, but I saw smoke.
There you lived, cold and proud: the distant moon,
angry because you do not move the tide.

When I awoke, all wet because the tide
had lapped against me and the morning sea
spray had splashed my face in spume gray as stone
I could not shake my half-remembered dream
I begged a lonely beach bum for a smoke
and tried not to think of the gibbous moon

You've never seen the argent evening moon
unless it fit your schedule. (like the tide
you make your days; regular as the sea
charts that predict when charming little stone
pools fill with starfish). No time left to dream,
No time for finding shapes in clouds and smoke.

Have your moon-pale walls unmarred by smoke
your dream of perfect life that's set in stone
I'll swim the boundless sea, fade into the tide.

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