she shuffles on toasted sand
carries her world with knotted hands
watches the rhythm of tides
with struggling eyes
wanders this beach
with stuttering feet
that have walked her lifetime
 
the sea scuttles in
snatches her footprints
rinses her away
with waves of applause
and splashing encores
smudging her outline
drowning her timeline
muffling her soundtrack
pushing her words back
they dissolve unsaid
on lips unread
 
but the girl inside her still smiles
through the tangle of lines
binding her face
as she remembers the man
who gathered her in his gaze
loved her in this place
combed promises
through her salty hair
 
she listens for the voice of him
forgets why she cannot find him
 
his blush still flushes her cheek
a lantern in her downpour