We drove across the Mojave Desert
With all the windows down--
My younger brother and I rolling around
Unfettered in the back of the old
Family station wagon, our faces and fingers
Sticky from peanut butter sandwiches,
Salty from a stale bag of Clover Club chips.
By the end of that day,
Just as a red disc of sun began to sink
We crested a sand-strewn hill and saw
The ocean for the very first time--
An undulating blue-gray beast,
its scales glittering in the last light.
Yes, our father said,
Then parked the car on the side of the road,
The air all around us thick
With the scents of decaying and living.
So my brother and I stripped down
And raced across the beach to the water's edge--