to stand with knees

embrace it!!! my little cousin e, who is 10, says about the next wave as it is about to
crash over us, and i follow her lead to stand with knees
slightly bent and eyes squeezed shut, hands
clenched into fists, (em)bracing
ourselves waiting
for the water to tumble
over us with sprays of salt and foam

later we are squatting on the sand and r, who is a little littler than e, asks if she can bury my legs, and when i don’t say anything right away, (because i am talking to her dad) she begins to dig a hole for my feet and starts scooping out sand for covering them over. then i try to argue that i hadn’t said
yes yet but it is too late
for now the sand and skin are one, so i melt my body into it and readily acknowledge that i had indeed given her non-verbal consent

the next day, driving back through four different states
the garden state the empire state the constitution state the spirit of america 
up and away from the ocean i am running my fingers through my hair and pulling out grains of sand (from where they hid
in between every strand and situated themselves snug
against my scalp) and tossing
them out the
window

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