At the cape, I stood alone on a platform
watching swans gather, mallards and herons,
and below me, a single hare, feeding itself
in the twilight on soft, newly mown grass.
I don’t know why I’m still alive.
I don’t know how a line of poetry
sometimes loses itself and finds me.
I don’t understand why my body is drawn
to the marshes, or the surf dragging itself noisily
away from the shore, fuming breakers
that will never know what it’s like to love.

Why does memory cling to the briny air,
settling in my hair like the sandy wind?
I’ve wasted so many days in half-life—
in pop music, sticky as caramel in my molars,
in those plastic-wrap online friendships
that cling tenaciously for a short time,
then crumple in on their own emptiness.
I should have been thinking of holiness
and trying to find it—even on these humid
afternoons when there’s space for image
but the air is too dense to grasp the form.
I stand and watch the rabbit, a lean
wild one, as it attends to its hunger
until a little girl comes stomping over,
shrieking, and it disappears in the wild roses.

Cape May at Dusk

Photo by MissTessmacher used under Creative Commons License (BY-NC-2.0)