It rises over the horizon and thickens
on a shelf of sea before coming ashore
in a sudden sweep where it settles like
a cat absorbing light on a windowsill.
Sea smoke. Alchemy of air and water,
a blur of pixels, broken pieces of a whole.

Even this familiar stretch of beach seems
strange, known objects charcoal smudges
on gray canvass, scant impressions of
themselves. With each step I enter unknown.
My hands reach into blind swirl of suspended,
shapeless water, essence leaks from fingertips,
flesh morphs into mist, a bloodless bleeding of self.
A sweet susurrus lures me too far. Cold wake
puzzles around ankles. Wet sand shifts under me.
A damp shroud sinks to bone.

Flashes of gold jigsaw the froth, golden slippers,
white shadow, snowy egret splashing beside me.
I, too, may be mere impression, my thoughts out
of focus, dissolving before I can name them,
a smear of color fading, white shadow unmoored
in a fog. This fugue sometimes lasts for days.