As a girl, I thought the city in the distance,
its backdrop of lacework bridges,
did the floating, not the island.
I know I wasn't floating when I walked
down the same beach and back each day.
The island never left the shore, no trick
of the atmosphere could make it disappear.
Even at the ebb tide, the rocks held
in steady demarcation, what the tide covered
returning to the edge of the durable world.
But the city drifted farther out to sea.
Later I saw through my childhood illusions,
and now I know that motion and stasis are one.
And which matters? Floating or standing still,
the tides are what the child thought slipped
between ocean and air: It's all the same,
it's the same arc of unremitting sea.