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First the sunbathing Europeans and now the seagulls

seem gray-skeptical. Showed little interest in being

sketched, remained still for scattered moments

against a carcass of Key West breezes. At times,

the memories of headlights, faces recast

before engines moving, chugging chains of metal, these

revelations of line and nose, of eyelash. At times

the morning and the evening trade lives, like one lover

for another, or a job you leave and forget

to say goodbye. They collect on debts from the horizon

and wear each other’s clothes, as water and air can both

be blue, be green, be effortless, and harsh, can picture

themselves somewhere very far away, and then

see it in reflection after reflection, a glance and pose,

held still, to diminishing returns. Or thrown there

down long Duval Street as green lights replace the red,

I’ve fallen against resplendent palms—trees—and taken

time to consider outstretched hands as knuckle

and extension, as conclusions drawn in black and white.

But even sky can contrast here. A couple experiments

with temperature and ocean, depth, and far-reaching

shallows before motel rooms and showers, a double-spray

of cool cologne, and early evening expectations

launch them into night.

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