I left my car at home and walked the neighborhood, stopping by the corner store to get coffee, walking the dog, going back and forth past the smoke of charcoal grills and running kids and someone playing Rihanna's entire back catalog all afternoon, called up my art partner and neighbor to walk down to the beach.
Everyone was out in various states of undress, swimming out to where it's deeper, showing off tattoos and tanlines, playing chess at the tables, eating ice cream and carving sandcastles and turtles named Ronnie in the sand. We stepped over washed up sticks and cracked red plastic cups, halves of tampons and broken toys and I took off my flip-flops to walk where the waves break.
If it wasn't so big and I had a car that wasn't small, I would have dragged home the pair of trees that grew together, uprooted, and washed upon the shore, stripped clean of bark and bleached bone white. The intricate corona of roots not turned around and made visible and the twisting of trunks kissed by aquamarine waves and resting on the crushed mosaic of countless zebra mussels still stays with me.