I am a left shoe, no laces, on the Maine coast;
a kingfisher somehow owes me its life.
I didn’t choose this sea’s flagrant shift
from green to blue. I didn’t choose
rogue waves or the clot of storms.
Why then the ballistics of love,
the freckle, the artistic hips? On Tuesday
there was a Venus Sea Flower
picked up by an architect’s daughter on vacation.
She wore beige sandals that looked so dry.
On another morning a little girl culled cowry
shells around me and an abandoned dog
found its long way home.
This is what it’s like to be a hole, I think.
The untended sunset candling
an unanswer at the center of the sea.
This is what it’s like to have been deeply
unscrutinized, to be the undesired
report of a dismissed ambassador
at home now with his dog and his girl
and both dry shoes.

Bill Neumire‘s recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in American Poetry Journal, Puerto del Sol, Harpur Palate, and Guernica.