Going for Coffee

Here in Portsmouth I watch the ocean grow old,

go gray around the ears, sputter blood till I can't

make out a word. Already the sound of it bores me,

the was and lull, the pressures of standing knee-deep

in something spiritual. The tide turns from the seawall,

retreating in shame. I feel like a child pinned

beneath an x-ray blanket. I regret last night's wine,

regret leaving the stereo on. It's true my musical tastes

assume violent aspects at 3 am. This morning

I woke half –consumed by the seam between bed

and wall—awakened from dreams of calling for water,

crying out till my throat swelled shut.

Down on the beach, men scratch their heads

at what came ashore. It's hard to feel good about coffee

when I picture the sand on their pant legs like that.

Dan Pinkerton