Walking Across Fire Island
The ocean crashes & the bay rolls in.
Planks creak along the boardwalk, as a deer
emerges underneath. Umbrellas open
like sudden fruit. I inhale salt air
as fog lifts off the brush. Here, I can let
the deer know me. The daytrippers have sailed
& the sun is falling. My friend Nina once said
deer are dumb. I hear the Atlantic on two sides,
the sister ocean. To look and not think
about looking. Deer or gentle friend
or mothering question, perpetual guest,
Long Island duchess, beach hostess —
I am in a floating year. They must all
be related by now, the deer, like beaches.
I imagine a deer walking out of the ocean,
the water returning to me, as it always will.
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