Slump-shouldered on the jetty, he seems
A shining, casual simulacrum
Made from sand, sea glass, and quartz,
Flung up in imitation by the surf.

A gold kaleidoscope of waves and arms,
His figure reappears and is projected
Among the crests, a butterfly quavering
In front of a cavalry of flashing cameras.

He surfaces: where we are most at home,
Exactly there, searched for and found,
Our own clutching breath pulls us up,
The burning salt of a word in our throats.

Submerged again, he flips over to look up,
As if through a capsized glass bottom boat,
To follow a dissolving jet trail,
The shadow of a silver tail, just touched.

A Message from the Editors

Our past successes are owed to our greatest ambassadors: our readers. Our future rests on your support, as The New Criterion Editor Roger Kimball explains. Will you help us continue to bring our incisive review of the arts and culture to the next generation of readers?

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 29 Number 2, on page 29
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