Ocean like the color opal,
and the good man beside me in the overheated van
full of wet bathing suits and tired children
and potato chips and sand, says
Looks just like a postcard, don’t it.
as the horizon catches fire as if someone had poured
a thin line of gasoline
running across ridges in sand and over water
lighting it in gold to mark a path
for the setting sun to follow.
The teacher says one day
you wake up and greet everything
as your own face in the mirror.
Hello, stray Mexican dog who lives in the dump
where people build houses out of abandoned tires.
Hello, flower-faced young mother
who arrives early for a free breakfast of sugary oatmeal
a couple of children in tow.
Hello, good man beside me, my friend’s husband,
whose cancer surgery last year
makes his eyes soft now,
driving back from the beach,
kids piled in back, shivering and giggling,
all wrapped up in damp rainbow towels.