political scientist

he takes his dog to the inlet when the

tide is out and he stands on the exposed

sand-bank, gray mud drying fast as summer

expands white across the ocean blue. here it

smells like salt and the brackish stale of

different waters, the sea rushing inland and

current pushing back against the endless


the rocks glisten uncovered, for a moment

breathless flush with air and the seabirds scatter

as his big great dog barks long and loud to

the boats waking outward toward the open


once long ago he stood in a far place and felt

the heat around him close as breathing, a tangible

stillness of air and all the men beside him spoke

a thousand tongues, endless translation as the

war receded behind them, fighting for show and

the newspapers that ebbed out when america's

attention was lacking; it never lasted longer than

the round of ammo smuggled in, the guns rusting

out in the sun long before the political expediency

had spent its convenient hatred

he likes to think he did something once, something

worthy; but flood tides out along the riverbanks, endless

building, rebuilding, breaking down- all the human patterns

of need that do not bend kindly to an imposition of theory;

it doesn't matter. it doesn't matter.

he does not live those times often except when he is alone, and the rhythm of

the ocean has the same thousand tongues-

the dog comes to him, flashing unconscious smile,

light catching every point of eye and teeth and all

the inhuman moments of purity, an endlessness outward

as it runs once again, racing against the tide.