Morning Walk, Holden Beach

Ghost moon in the upper right-hand corner
where we used to write our names—
Is it quiet there, Tom,
adrift from your drift of ashes?
I strike out towards the rising sun,
your blank blue, your murmur in surf

to my right, dunes and salt-blasted beachfronts
to my left. I can still see
the scribblings sand crabs left
in their nightly scurry for the day's discards.

This page, like all the others, will be erased
soon, but for now there's a line or two.
The waves unscroll their best bond,
a finish like a mirror under the sandpipers.

You'd like that, I think, text as pure reflection,
no scuff of us to mar the brief recording.
There are no hills here to look to for help
though the ocean seems upgrade at the horizon.

I sing a little under my breath, as the saying goes—
old JT, Dylan, even that God-awful
song about West Virginia where your urn lies,
my honest friend, at Point Pleasant.

The sun's up now, full, and gulls yuck
at their own stand-up. I smell coffee
and turn, my back to the sun's hot yolk,
to head for home, following my shadow.

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for Tom Andrews
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