It’s not 1963. Still, heaven
is a Falcon, sky blue with rusted chrome.
It’s not how, but where
and why. The town beach after a day
butterflying jumbos at the Fish Market.
A girl with tan shoulders, a fisherman’s
daughter. Cheap beer, but what does it matter
after the first, the second. Who’s counting?
Not the fisherman who dreams of Tautog
for chowder, walking the flats. His daughter
dreams of a wedding without sand. You ignore
dreams and drive to get gas, to watch a man,
maybe 5 years older than you, rub a rag
across your windshield as if the salt and grime
might actually disappear. His name
is on his shirt. Soon he disappears. But you
aren’t interested in the schedules of grief.
Good grief the cartoon shouts. Yes, it’s good.
She becomes your wife. In a few years,
her blood talks back to her, resists, the way
a three year old does after a day
at the beach, exhausted, refusing
to acknowledge sleep. Says no. Big Blues
eat the little Blues. Deep below,
something joyful swims out of it all.
Author’s Comment: I spent many childhood summers camping with my family along the beaches of Cape Cod. In my early twenties, I returned one summer to work at the Bass River Fish Market.