by Christopher Raley
In the evening the waves had shrunk down
and, like a dog’s tongue, lapped in troubled sleep.
The wind died cold leaving fingers of sand
tracing the pavement to where it had blown.
A car left the pub and followed the road
up and over the knuckle of the cape.
It was quiet again between absorbing deep
and hotel balcony as sound stage.
I listened for the car but the forest
had taken it. I listened both empty
and receiving. A woman’s voice clipped short,
fragment chord from the bar, these are what I heard
and memory of soft movement behind,
straightening of cloth, final click of strap.