I’m careful where I step. Water ripples
greenish blue against hot sand; pebbles mixed
with quartz grains and pine needles, sharp
amid the duff, blown down from the
upper stories of the sugar pines
clumped along the beach. Kids falling off
paddle boards into the cold lake, voices
like stretched brake linings in the dry air.
A geometric rim of mountains in the
near distance. A few geese
float detached on the current. Beside
us a family under a mesh canopy
speaks English and Russian.
I love the present with its layers
of seconds faceted like sparks
hammered off the glinting surface.
I want to stay here endlessly,
standing at the convergence of sand and water
while we watch them sequestered
under the clutter of branches, breathing
suntan lotion. I dread the future, yet it arrives
little by little. Knowingly we disappear into it.
Our bodies dissolve molecule by molecule
swept out to the edge of the intangible,
where light is compressed into blackness.
Where red ants crawl in their columns across
rotting earth, leaving no more
than a trail of resin behind.