I remember the brown boy with brown eyes
who tried to sell us a toy wooden ship
first in the smoky restaurant
and then, as if he had followed us,
in the smoky bar
where we had our pictures taken
so we could know we had been there,
and Tom was drunk
and all his friends were drunk
and we went out to our cars,
I, driving without insurance
along the unknown roads of Mexico
and backing onto the sidewalk,
then we were out aong the highway, back
toward Tijuana, full moon,
our line of cars
calling and beeping back and forth.
We were looking for the perfect beach.
It was too dark to see,
and then we lost the rest of them
around a curve, and it was only
Larry and Tom, still nearly a stranger
and I, and I
pulled off and we walked
through prickly pear, down the hill
to the warm sand and then
the warm Mexican sea.
The moon was still full,
and Tom was drunk.
We lay blankets and sleeping bags on the sand.
We could hear the clicking of sand fleas.
Larry had to go back to the car
for something he forgot
and I ran to dance with the waves
as if in a dream -
the moon moving the waves,
the waves moving me,
I moving my shadow,
my shadow bowing to the moon.
And Tom was suddenly by my ear,
saying he was secretly in love.
I stared at the arms around my waist
saying, Larry will be back soon,
but it didn't matter, really
because I didn't love this man
or even like him very much,
and then I felt as if I was slipping,
as if my mind was washing away
or ebbing out,
all so strange
under a full moon.
I wanted to cry for all the times
I fought to keep from washing away
like the sand, ah this time -
and I wanted to beg him for mercy
but he turned
and walked up the beach.
A moment later
he was asleep.