The Shores of Home by John Dowell

He didn’t think it was meant to be, 
yet here he stands once again 
on the shores of home, 
where everything is curved:
The scooped sand at his feet. 
The wind-shaped dunes that march behind him; 
their fine blond hair stands up 
swaying in the static of the night. The sculpted
bridge-like sentinel off the point, waves 
tonguing the sides of its toothless mouth. 
The moon kissed the soft ocean swells. They grow 
into overhead curls and call his name
in thundering crash. He can breathe easy 
with the heave and sigh of surf 
and the moist salt air soothes his desert-burned nose. 
Sea lions carry his laughter
in their pudgy bodies. 
The sentinel’s top is covered 
in sleek-necked cormorants 
that fold his long unspoken words
under their wings. They’ll fly North soon. 
Perhaps, when they reach the cold shores of Oregon, 
his old girlfriend will finally understand him. 
In the morning, when the sun breaches
The horizon’s smile, madrones’ nude sunset limbs 
will commence their dance with the besotted skyline. 
But now, under the cool light of the moon, 
the tide is rising
and will soon drown the beach. As the water rises 
so does the man’s dream. His eyes open 
to a flat gray sky of steel. Back to the world 
of straight lines and crooked people.
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