Returning here, it hasn't been easy
for them to find their place in the black sand—
always too much sun or rain,
strangers driving umbrellas yet deeper
into their land. The young radio host said so,
speaking of the vets. When the sea had come,
some curled up inside the shells;
others flexed and clicked their knuckles
on the trigger of each wave, forgetting
to come up for breath. Then as now, there was
no such a thing as fin-clapping fish,
quipped the host—his voice no more than
an umlaut going off the air. But he didn't
give us a name at the start or the end.
Nor did he explain how to rebury a pair of
big toes jutting out from the mud
at the water's edge. In the end, it's a fluke.
A beach ball gets lost. And a search
party leads us under the pier, into the frothy sea
impaling empty bottles on the rocks.