“Joe, mach die Musik von damals nach!”


The dark gray receding tide uncovers
New reaches of white sand, and underfoot 
Dry bony driftwood moves into the shade 
       Growing as cold as
       The sparrow-colored
Cliffs that hover above the beach to mark 
The rooted boundaries beyond all which 
Nothing made of the sea may pass. The flying 
       Onshore winds only
       Flap through an awning

Over the empty beach house. The sun becomes
Paler than one could believe. The treachery
Of memory is probably no deeper now 
       Than it is ever,
       But when, toward evening,
Summer shivers into covering darkness
Spreading no particular season’s chill
Down the beach, older remembered images
       Invade the prospect.
       Like the preposterous

Youngsters who come prancing over the sand.
Waiting for sundown on the hard cold beach 
To send them groping for each other’s furry 
       Parts, in the blackness 
       Of sandy blankets,
Handling the loneliness, the coldest fears 
Each has ever known, in the only ways 
Occurring to them, we ourselves expend 
       Passion on peeping 
       (At seascapes, perhaps)