James Brock • Florida, at the End of Time

I have to remind myself
humanity is a recent thing
that dares not understand
its impossible erasure, dares

not land upon this Florida,
its beach and universe where
everything has an end. Nor
do I. Love , do you regard

the water and its quiet
pliabilities? I do. Or do
you think of a land unmoored
in grass, or of an oceanic

desert with Hollywood sand,
or of a mount crested
upon tectonic plates? Earth?
Water? Air? Fire? Florida?

Such places our bodies become
sub-mineral. There, our bodies
beckon to some elemental
signature, an encrypted

memory of origin where
every wind has its vapory
consciousness, where every
wind moves us to sex, love,

animation, retirement. In
such places, such in-between
lands and waters and their
arrested evolutions, such

places with and without Eden,
with and without beginning,
the keener one between us
stops during our walk along

this South Florida beach,
stops upon a place stilled
upon the common maps,
and kneels to trace clouds

and cormorants in the sand.
In such places--above us
in the twilight, gulls
call to their mates, and

due north of us, the lights
of Miami Beach multiply,
a soft cartoon foregrounded
on dredged sand--and in such

places, the wind tarries
across our skin. After
I am lost remembering what
shutter speed will suffuse

this kind of light, deciphering
the camera’s trick of capture,
I look upon you, my beloved,
and release the snapshot:

lust itself is rescue against time.
Your skin, unto which I
surrender, tells me I am not
a being but a place, tells me

how mostly happy is any one
so near this edge of waiting