We draw imaginary lines in the sand, delineate where difference can
play. I’ve been walking for so long. Have seen tea-house and the
ghost-trace of sculptures by the sea. Have seen nudists and the way
age ripens the belly to swell, bronze and holy. Have seen horse flock,
all mane and tail, neighing at the sun as it turns their coats golden.
Have seen gliders who, from a distance, curve the curl of air with
insectoid swoops, strings attached, a marionette akin to Lorialet
ascending toward the moon, graphite smudge on blue. But this stretch
is dog beach. As in place of tongue; place of bark; place of fetch
racing tide; place off-leash and under effective control; place of
paw-print paddling limb into surf who lunges to lick fur. And I have to
admit: this is a small soak of heaven because as a kid I grew up with
so much canine even my teeth knew how to howl and chew. I identify
breed and good boy, good girl, good dog, A tennis ball, drenched in
slobber, sails past me, catches waves’ brim, is brought into the crush
and rush to roll back, littoral. And a mutt, mixed and every bit a dog,
rushes after it, bounds into azure crest with spume. Ichabod, the owner
calls, heel boy, come. And as Ichabod runs back, his paws pause in
front of me. We exchange a look. And the word of dog is conveyed in
that one glance, and he says I too came here when I had human skin.
Glanced the lance of light as it refracted across the dunes. Looked
west. Looked into. Felt myself drawn to step beyond my crown, be cast
out, castaway, no solitary door to hold on to. I was adrift in the rift of
itching inside what it meant to have no fur. What it meant to
understand the depths and yearn to be something else, to be
swallowed. To be done. Because what’s the use of all the worry, those
taxes, that relentless procession of gas tank crashes. And I never did
swim. Never. Too afraid of rip and tidal slip, even though I wanted to
be bluer than the ocean. You should wash your skin. It stinks of
. Big thoughts for one look, I think to myself, as Ichabod
runs on to deliver ball, only to run on to again after it is thrown, a
relentless game filled with saltwater. I keep walking until the
imaginary line signifies that this beach is now human. And I peel off
my clothes, the scent of drone and tether to dark thoughts. And I
summon dog, imagine life as ball, run headlong into the froth of it all.
Cold, the waves embrace me. Hole becomes holy. My whoop is more
akin to a bark. And the ocean bays back.