Beach Break

Maybe they think
because you stare,
because you’ve chosen the dullest gear:
a charcoal t-shirt and matching backpack —
the rest, slate-ash grays,
that you live alone in a small shuttered room,
with a collection of girlie rags
and biker monthlies
from the 7-Eleven across the alley
— who knows?
maybe the pack itself is bad-ass,
where it slumps dangerously
on your shoulders,
the skateboard only pretending
to be a perch /
but in some square’s fearful fantasy
quickly spun up into the hands,
dropped ready at your feet
when the shooting is done,
when the bright bodies
of sunbathers
bleed into the sand.

But what they don’t see
are the d(-_-)b
upside-down, playing Strauss,
the dazed, goofy smile,
how on your first day off in a while
the lake with its boats and cascading laughter
elevates you as well
into the heady weekend air;
what they don’t see
is that in the jungle of your beach,
in its Amazonian gaiety,
among the bathing suits with their
parrot dances and birds of paradise,
the dull gray bird is king:
he only needs to sit here
in their awkward,
sidelong glances.

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