After Walking Clam Beach
“I was like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”
— Isaac Newton
First a scallop shell for holding
in your pocket, what lived in its
mineral shine, a tongue without words.
You finger its stories—I oozed. I was a dab
of muscle, a heart with a hundred eyes,
artist, alchemist, pilot of tides.
Can you leave this? Shoes filling with sand,
you set your feet free. Now salt water,
amber foam, part of a pier with rusted nails,
a surf scoter washed with kelp, her eye paring
sky to a pale blue point. It’s time for you
to start leaning into the sea. I snap photos,
digital images, mix of math and memory.
Ahead of me, framed in spray and the jut
of Trinidad Head, you become simply
the shape of a man.