She stepped ahead of their walking, perhaps
catching him unaware because she knew
they both needed to believe this moment,
that something strange there had manifested
and they had to agree on what it was,
like the way she often stole the glasses
from his face when he pointed things out,
pretending she’d acquired his myopia,
blinking through kaleidoscopic visions,
asking how he managed to see anything
with such bottlecapped binoculars,
obscuring her seeing by wearing them
and his by not, so they could both not see
and see the same thing together at once.
She stepped ahead and spun round to face him,
acknowledging in confidence the view,
the glassy, marbled shoreline of the beach,
and sand as smooth as mud caking their feet.
To her its very instance seemed untrue,
the partition of the sea dividing
one sun setting and drawing a banner
of clouds streaked orange-red, one sun rising
diaphanous and orbed in the ocean,
and not one grain was undiscovered,
not one thing was but orange and darkly.
The plovers skittered in lines like black ants,
and the tide’s stomach returning seaward
relinquished the bones of its appetite,
bleached sand dollars, hermit shells, and driftwood.
She reached back, her eyes soliciting his,
the world behind her without an easel
yet they framed it within one another.
And then she was gone, half-skipping ahead,
her feet slapping the rhythmic undertow,
arms raised as if to grab at the seams
the very curtains of the ocherous sky.
He remained chary at her departure
until she was orange and vanishing,
footprints between them ebbed smoothly away.
And then the world itself was like a lens,
and through such immensity he saw her
the fragile and glittered arch of her back
was not unlike the sallow looking-glass
of some beached and berthing crystal jelly.
And what was he, she glancingly reviewed,
but the slim figure of a curled matchstick
marooned on the horizon and curve,
become in that moment for each other
such immense flotsam, such tiny jetsam?