The waves pull back the minute kids start their chase
the seashells follow tumbling toward the water
hungry for one more sip before it is time to sleep.
Why has the sky not shown this orange all day?
The blue reflects, brightens the water on the sand
but no one is looking. Orange is power and we cannot
help but notice before it fades, before the world
goes dark, before the next wave comes and we forget.
The plastic pail full of wet sand salt air
echoes the laughing, splashing, low roar of waves
crashing as my grip tightens the handle for balance.
Time still ticking even though this is a picture
of gratitude too deep, sand stuck in my stomach
grinding as it finds the right words to persuade
how happy I am in this moment— motion
even though we beg it to stay, our finger threatens
on the shutter, but its images just left to age. All
we have to dive ocean deep shell wide in a minute.
Cover image by Zhisheng Deng