Long after the mothers uncross
their arms and the children who huddle
and wrap their shoulders in towels
stop shivering, when atop the tower the lifeguard collapses his red umbrella,
the beach is shorn of leisure and the colossal night is a call to worship for the anchorite
who heaves churns and roars against the planet’s decree as it prays,
and leaning in me you ask what could a sea this terrible and perfect possibly ever pray for:
waves smack in the jetty again and again and again as if asking for one thing.
We draw our blankets tight.
More and more we think we hear it.