After all day driving down Highway 5
I lie back floating, adrift
in the windblown surf beside a new, white high rise,
bold gold lettering advertising
a prodigious billboard over the sand.
An occasional pelican, wet from the waves,
dips across the rich salt sweet air he rides.
But the order here seems clear and pure,
brightly colored along the cleanest of lines,
yellow trash cans every twenty feet, as in a painting,
and the McDonald’s fits in,
á la David Hockney,
open sky of sails and clouds, miles away.
Trapped in a snapshot,
I think I can’t hold onto what I see.
I almost disappear in this day, this day,
taking my son down to UCLA.
It makes me feel as if none of us is alive
outside the order of things, the same as
the way the wind picks up the gull from the beach.
I watch him back up and up, riding what he feels,
until I am gone with him, the two of us,
having simply been here,