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