exit music

You called me at work with a suggestion;
let’s go to the beach. dinner. possibilities
I waited for you at 6 pm
on the stairs of the government building,
Sansome and Sacramento, so
excited to see you that
my book lay open, unread
in my lap.

The buses pulled up and away
at reliable intervals for 20 minutes, and then

You screeched to the curb, smiling through
the passenger window, happy and young,
cigarette dangling expertly, carelessly
between two fingers.

I jumped in to hear Exit Music (For a Film), Radiohead,
listening to the possibilities
Where could we go to watch the ocean from inside,
sip wine in a warm-lit room, sheltered from the looming
grey? Let’s find out.

And we stumbled on a haven high above Ocean Beach,
a place to talk and remember how to be,
in a warm-lit room that seemed to float
in the grey
like the calm center
of a sea storm.

The lights from the tankers on the horizon
looked like a floating Mardi Gras.
The busboy brought us water and
we thanked him profusely and our attention turned toward

Mighty surfers communing with Ocean Beach, below
finding perfection in the cold pummeling waves
they rode occasionally but, more often,
diving through or sailing over,
finding a way.

Nearby a whirlpool formed beside a rock jetty,
churning, juxtaposed to the controlled calm
of the surfers who knew exactly how far away to be.
Who could tell how far down that vortex led?
Shiver, sip of wine, I felt protected,
feasting with you.

And even now as you lie, exquisite,
in the other room
i know i love you.

Even though there seems
a sad end to every night, i know
there is life in us yet.

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