Man and Sea (with Dog) Wait out a Thunderstorm

He’s splayed under cover of a rainstorm awning
with a spray-on shirt in green weave like tangled kelp—
serif lettering across his tanned breasts has been
parched into an indistinct dither by the hormonal
swings of a foul-mood sun.

And his dog tap-dances with pointed red fox ears
under the gas station windows—tip-tap-
tapping with unclipped claws that mime the practiced knocks of
patent leather stage shoes—the yellow feather of its tail
pursued by a cloud of affection-brown hands:
fluttering wings whose fingers are slivers of washed driftwood,
like what’s under the flakes of peeling blue bow paint on that down-the-road
sailing boat; its overturned hull passes every season in slowness
near the broad, relaxed shoulder of the coast, as it casts
and drags in the sighing vacuums between
stuck RVs that aim themselves like sunbathing snow bears,
angling for a first-time roast of bronze.

The tap shoe pup hits marks to a rolling drum like bullets from God
for the chuckling man who wears the sea on his back; legs figure-eight the piles of
every owned thing stuffed into the paunches of
three plastic grocery bags.

Slanting forms eye the Mesmer roll of numbers clicking;
thread long rubber tubes into the empty bladders of their automobiles—
ears plugged against the music.


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