Some dim tide strode the beach pelican,
had quarters for eyes, and a gull’s sense for scavenge.
I found pearls under the boardwalk,
but they were just butts
and hunks of abalone
caught up in the pushing.
The skeeball racked out addicts
like melamine and spent rubbers,
but we were young then,
not known for drinking.
Safari had fake skin in the flukes,
Zulu shields too tall for a penny,
and some chump carved out Jesus in sand,
but the waves whipped that away.
I got all surf rod crazy
and hooked a dogfish in the belly,
and some dick took my kite,
so that’s what’s up for fish.
Later on, though, when the acids came on,
and them jimmies were ants,
and that fuckbag carny wouldn’t stop the ride,
and footprints became skulls,
and the sea turned opal,
and the horsecops stayed cool,
and I became dolphin,
and undertow spoke of passage,
and the horseshoe crabs washed up
gray and silent – I learned –
that mussels cling
to jetties not for communion,
but in the hope that the next sap
would take the pounding waves.