My brothers Tim and John and me, with our father sailing behind us, somewhere on Cape Cod a long time ago. Photographed by our mother, Patience.
by John Logan
There were bees about. From the start I thoughtThe day was apt to hurt. There is a highHill of sand behind the sea and the kidsWere dropping from the top of it like schoolsOf fish over falls, cracking skulls on skulls.I knew the holiday was hot. I sawThe August sun teeming in the bodiesLogged along the beach and felt the yearningIn the brightly covered parts turning eachTo each. For lunch I bit the olive meat:A yellow jacket stung me on the tongue.I knelt to spoon and suck the healing sea ...A little girl was digging up canalsWith her toes, her arm hanging in a castAs white as the belly of a dead fishWhose dead eye looked at her with me, as sheOpened her grotesque system to the sea ...I walked away; now quietly I heardA child moaning from a low mound of sand,Abandoned by his friend. The child was tricked,Trapped upon his knees in a shallow pit.(The older ones will say you can get out.)I dug him up. His legs would not unbend.I lifted him and held him in my armsAs he wept. Oh I was gnarled as a witchOr warlock by his naked weight, was slowedIn the sand to a thief’s gait. When his strengthFlowed, he ran, and I rested by the sea ...A girl was there. I saw her drop her hair,Let it fall from the doffed cap to her breastsTanned and swollen over wine red woolen.A boy, his body blackened by the sun,Rose out of the sand stripping down his limbsWith graceful hands. He took his gear and walkedToward the girl in the brown hair and wineAnd then past me; he brushed her with the soft,Brilliant monster he lugged into the sea ...By this tide I raised a small cairn of stoneLight and smooth and clean, and cast the shadowOf a stick in a perfect line alongThe sand. My own shadow followed then, untilI felt the cold swirling at the groin.