Brine

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Blue and white extend far beyond
the open sky, melting the sea,
its turquoise expanse crashing
into white waves. Bubbles of foam in a mad
rushing caress caught between water and shore.

Brine mixed with the smell of fish and seaweed
evaporates into the air.
Earth and sea emit a primal sound
that rocks me to and fro
soothing my tousled emotions.

Beyond the coastline, wild palms
frayed by the careening wind,
their fronds point arrow-like
toward the cobalt sky.

Snowbirds in groups stand huddled
and distant. They observe my approach
in a diffident stance, and shy away
as soon as I am too close.

Pelicans, one body in flight,
swerve gracefully above the horizon,
each part of a greater whole.
Their motion, a symphony in action,
touches me deep within.
A beauty so perfect
it sips of the divine
and startles my uneven breaths, caught
between whim, and insight.

Barefoot on the sand, I spread my feet
wide to the touch of broken seashells;
somewhere in between pleasure and pain,
I imagine a massage of organs churned
in the motion, and my foot opens, unfurls
distends, breathes.

The sun glows tangerine before sinking
below the horizon, pulling with it
my discomfort and any critical sense left.
As the night descends with
its loose cloak of velvet blackness,
humor enlivens my own shores:
this country of impatient physicality
now approaching acceptance.

I stand in my flesh,
more compassionate,
distilled by the pickle of vodka.

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