Point Lookout, Long Island
by Barbara Schwartz

The shells all look familiar –
the smooth, broad clam,
the blue-black mussel, shards of dead coral,
fragments of sand or flight.

I walk past them and look toward the ocean.
It’s bluer than usual, flecked with green
and white, cleaner without tails
of seaweed and plastic, a flattened
body of smaller waves, just a few
pink crab legs buffeting the shore,
whatever is underneath the water
not trying too hard
to escape.

I want to think that it is beautiful,
worthy of your painting,
how you sit still
for so long,
examining light.

But I am restless and keep walking
down the jetty, where I feel
the pointy ridges and dark caverns
of the outgrowth, its solitary
landscape, a good place
for fishing.

You look faraway now,
far enough for me
to sit still
and examine you,
the way I like to,
without direct light.

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