Twenty two

A couple is nice
When you visit the beach.
Parking is usually backed up,
So it’s useful to have someone
Procure a spot close to the water.
One of you could have made sandwiches
While the other put sunblock in a beach bag.
Working well together—you could have your toes in the
Water by nine am.

If it starts to rain, whether a couple
Or, not—you’re going to get wet.
One of you could begin taking apart the umbrella;
The other, rummaging around throwing towels, chips, and books—in a bag.
You’ll run out to the car with a dirty sheet
That both of you hold in one hand
Which will probably get ruined.

The one by himself could run, or could not;
He may not have anywhere to go
Or, have a dirty sheet to cover his head with.
Preferring to watch the clouds change colour,
From clear to thick; from still to wavering;
He’ll stare out, lost at sea;
Unable to recall a single moment
Of his life as a twenty two year old man.

When it’s time to go home
The one will only know it a moment before.
He will feel his face and blink,
And the hot of the day
Will be replaced by the go of the air;
And when he blinks again, he’ll look
Down for one more second to the empty space on his towel.
Putting his sun glasses back into their case, and folding his towel
He’ll be careful to make sure no sand
Flies onto a neighboring party;
Focusing intently on getting the corners of his towel touching.

The two will have previously mentioned the exodus.
They will be finishing off an article,
Eating the remains of a grapefruit,
Laying back, eyes closed, remembering something
That may have happened to them when they were
Someone else in a similar place.
Packing their own bags and designating
Chores instinctively, one will finish first
Waiting patiently for the other to retrieve the remaining
Strains of junk. The sheet will have been stuffed rudely
In a beach bag, and as they leave the beach
They’ll get an ill-meaning look from the Latin family
Who are shaking sand off their arms.

They will pass one another as they amble toward the parking lot,
Both taking public transportation.
Sitting across from each other the one will put on earphones
Staring at the two’s, thinking ‘that was me last week.’
The two, immersed in crosswords and thoughts on dinner,
Will glance at the one and remember a moment in their lives
When they were twenty two.

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