Ode to Katama Beach

by Aubrey Ashmun

The tendrils of your
            tired waves swallow

my what ifs,
            my have nots,

tucking them away
            into a sapphire sleep.

You are too young to drown.
            You are too old to drown.

Listen to me breathe
            against the shore.

A respirator of salt air.
            An in and out of indigo—
the cold caress of blue lava
            on the belly of a gull.
I have come to bottle up pearls of moonlight
            flickering on white caps.
Do you see the young girl
            dancing with a necklace

of seaweed— a nightgown of salt?
            The freedom of
                        fading footsteps.

Washed away I see myself.
A halo of barnacles,
            the seal bobbing up and

sinking under the crack
            of the swell’s spine.

Hello bluefish. Have you
            tasted the silver lures?

I always told my father to throw you back.

Maybe we are safe here—
            bathed in silence
 hidden beneath the encore
            of sand kissing sea.

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