Leveler Poetry Journal
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At Año Nuevo State Park

Watching sand seep into so many tennis shoes,

I am pleased to be wearing my galoshes.

We all amble like toddlers on such soft footing.

Even those with mustaches look fey.

Like a mother’s voice calling from just outside of sleep,

the sun glows faintly behind a wall of cloud.

We arrive at our white-haired docent.

She looks so alone up there with her knowledge.

I want to hug her and tell her we will be kind,

but I can’t be certain among this group of strangers.

She leads us up a dune.  “Us,” I whisper

and hang onto the “s.”

At the top, a man asks me to remove myself

from a picture he’s trying to take of his daughters.

It’s one less album I don’t belong in.  Still,

I take it personally.  I watch the Pacific’s horizon

and crane my neck to see a hundred feet further

down earth’s curvature.  Nothing.

What land would I see if my neck kept on craning?

What families live there and what do they name their cats?

A tap on my shoulder.  It’s the man,

laughing and pointing at two seals in copulation.

Masin Persina