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For every two steps, four paws pressed sand.
Last night a gibbous moon bit
through thin fog, the beach
luminous, so you'd have seen that dog,
that man, heading North alone,
their shadows together for miles.

The dog meandered, a loopy gait,
the man walked as if he had
some place to go. Look, here beside
the bleached stump-empty tin of tuna,
apple core taunted by bees-the pair rested,
smeared sand all that's left
of dreaming. I let my tracks fall beside theirs,
and if the tide doesn't swallow them,
whoever follows me will think,
a couple with a happy mutt.

The shore narrows until there is
only ocean and cliff face, then my solitary path,
returning, bearing new weight,
this mystery, these sea-smoothed stones
safe in my pockets. At least
he had a dog.

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