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Yesterday’s morning bed looked a hot mess, all but the mattress pulled down onto the floor. Could’ve been hot sex or could’ve been another sleepless night, too hot in a t-shirt and a stuffy room.  I’ll leave it to you to decide which one was more likely.

This morning’s bed I left early, 4:30, awakened by voices outside, young men either headed to the gym or early call to work.   I knew there was no going back to any kind of rest or sleep, so I pulled on yesterday’s clothes and ventured outside.  The finches are strenuous early, morning doves and gulls silent. It’s a farther walk to where I can hear the water but it never quite drowns out the sound of birds singing in the dark.

I sat in the damp sand, water black but for little white wave crests that break just before the shore, that moment when they’re good and ready.  Sunrise in 48 minutes. I doubt I will be able to sit still that long.  A small container ship creeps across the bay, barely silhouetted by the town lights. Hampton bridge is busy, as always. I will not see the lights go out this morning.  Town lights behind me make the night sky glow pink and blue in the clouds.

Two buoys appear in the bay, inky things in the dark, but they are orange in daylight. My eyes say they weren’t there a minute ago, but of course they were.  When will the dolphins return?  I can see bird silhouettes flying now.  They weren’t there a minute ago, but of course they were.  Sunrise in 20 minutes.  I doubt I will be able to sit still that long.

Mostly I just breathe. I focus on the scent that arrives in me. There is a faint chemical smell in the air with a tint of the seaweed clumps that arrived during those hours I could not sleep.   I smooth the sand down that lies before my crossed knees but no words come. It’s just damp, cool sand with a side order of things I should not be thinking.  But why shouldn’t I? What better place to let the words come and then go in a place where there are no dogs yipping, the rain has not yet begun to fall?

I leave before the sun rises in a sky ready for rain. I need no proof the hours moved by seeing a glowing orb.  I take with me a different kind of beauty, when the eyes adjust to dim light and can see what wasn’t there but a moment ago.