Sometimes I remember summer in California,
just 12, army father, & the way he left me
alone at the hotel, & how, taken to nothing
but wanting love, I wandered the beach,
not knowing what to do with an ocean.
I wore socks with my sneakers & sat,
thinking myself older, clutching a book
I didn’t read, wanting to read, but not,
& then looking up, & wanting to read again.
A lot has changed since then, & nothing.
I don’t wear socks. I know what it’s like
to be high. Sometimes I have wanted
to know if there is an underside to life,
& if it is inverted, so that there, we live
inside of light rather than below it.
I have found it better to believe in everything
than nothing — like the old man each day
on the beach, scavenging with the metal
extension of his arm for gold or bits of
valuable scrap. Each day I thought him
doing something else: sometimes searching
or forgiving or even blessing, sometimes
longing for something more than this, & yet
something still, head turned toward this soft
ground that offered nothing but would or maybe.