Swathed in Number 4 Coppertone, Coach
sits in his bench chair, watching
the Atlantic roll itself toward his toes,
his belly white as a gull's,
the sun playing him tight.
He listens to the waves, the children squealing,
the stockbrokers still talking big bucks
as their wives try to coax them offshore,
the teenagers laughing as they roll
under the cool water or whispering
as they bake next to each other, fingers
laced. Suddenly he wants to buy
some jeans, open his shirt, take
his wife across state lines.
But his brain's a gym.
Every move he makes draws jeers.
Even here, dreaming himself a surfer,
builder of sandcastles, a stud ”
who strolls the shoreline, or just
leaning back into the sand to feel
the salt air sift across his body,
he can hear the catcalls—“You’re
on his vacation. Donald Sund
a bum, Coach. You’re a lousy bum.”