by the shore

just as the days were shortening noticeably
but before the sun had lost its power to make
us shrug off our jackets while sitting down
on the dead grass on a clear weekend
near the eager dogs who would run and run,
that was when i felt most hopeful. the sheet
on which we squatted seemed good enough,
winter seemed like an interesting experiment,
and all my decisions seemed just and right.
now the ache of the cold has got into my bones.
all the small hopings washed away and left
faint stains of hurt, each one a sort of
highwater flotsam: this and that, picked over
by the birds, mostly faded trash and foam.

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