For J.C.

Surf pounding on the beach—
edgy talk—
two teenagers
on its outskirts.
Sand slows their pace.
Finally the boardwalk.

A false glare of lights,
cranked up phonograph music
drowns out the pounding sound
of surf. Salt breezes
hang near as he steps up
to a booth, takes aim
at her purple desires,
wins her an over-stuffed bear.

The night deepens, the teenagers
move on through a double clutch
of evening into the rhinestone stars.
Convertible top down, they sit
in swirling distances. The only guard,
a small light in the hallway of her house.
They touch tongues over cotton-candied teeth.
Each breath they take sounds like
the miniature oceans they are.

Published in Over A Threshold of Roots, Sandra Larson, Pudding House Chapbook Series, 2007