story fragment

they traipsed the beaches 
in search of a somewhat elusive bird 
that hid in the hottest parts of the sand
nested and left no trace
not even feather-beak residue 

what they did know:
the birds had been present
the sand was hottest by the estuary 
they could not stand there for more than 
“fifteen seconds!” 
lucy yelped 
it was half past noon 

what they did not know:
the birds had just left
the birds were meticulous tidiers 
ppl lived in the estuary 
“the way back to the car” lucy sighed 

camping on the beach was 
a necessary discomfort 
no tent 
but as has been illustrated 
the sand was hot
and strangely remained that way 
after dark 

like there were still-hot coals submerged 
under loam 
but no 
not even seafaom could still
heated swill
hot bile that thicket-dwellers 
                      forced to eat
                      pork remnants and capri-sun

“living in the rough” was illegal by then
“showing outward affection” was too
as were many other precious things 
such as “venturing alone”
but lucy didn’t care
that’s what they liked abt thicket-dwellers
they didn’t care
on second thought 
least they cared enough
to share bug spray and apple juice

i was very young when I met lucy and I did not know, at the time, what a risk she was taking in taking me in
i did not know that she was 
taking me in I thought I was hers

i was hers
after all 
but that’s not the way ppl saw it
adoption was illegal at that point 
and punishment severe for disobeying 
so when they were in “polite company” 
i.e. police company, narcs, informants, etc
lucy would call me her intern 
which they loved

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