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The sun having just left its peak,

we lolled in the late August haze,

golden light swimming on the adjacent sea

Beads of sweat had settled on my forehead

as we trudged down our typical root

It had become a recurring affair, nearly everyday now

The sign for no entry at the end of the road

had tempted our defiance

so we hopped the fence

No shits given for the wire,

its mangled snares snagging at the denim I wore

in an attempt to impede our journey

Your white Nikes, dirt-soiled and battered-

cooler that way, I thought–

were always 5 paces ahead of me

I followed you down

the path split by sea grass and

beach-cactus knock-offs

For a lifetime I had once walked it alone,

hiding in the secluded site of no particular beauty-

admiring the utter absence

But today, we lit up together

Your eyebrows furrowed over dark brew eyes,

intently studying the green as you rolled it between your fingers

Ritualistic, deliberate customs for forging the perfect burn

Ash had fallen like satan's snowflakes to join the charred remnants

of the relinquished campfire below

I had walked to the water-

trekking over drift wood and broken glass,

my feet sinking into dwarfed valleys of sand

I looked to the tide pool as it licked my boots,

seeing the reflection of a cool jeweled sky

and a face that wasn’t mine

I saw her with devils eyes

through a blackened fog

It spilled from burnt lungs

and through my parted lips

but she didn’t need the smoke to breathe-

not like me.

I thought maybe it could be

And in that girl I found a reason

to change with the seasons

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