The consist of subway cars eased away
from Sheepshead Bay Station;
there were omens of the ocean.
First the cackling factory
where all the world's chickens
ritually were killed on Neptune
Avenue, on summer evenings only, and only
when the sun was red and low.
Second the ochre walkup
of Jerusalem Stone where Nathaniel
Ben-Paul Ben-Rose's Aunt Bertha
lived, prayed, and died alone.
Third the rows of solid,
everlasting bungalows of maroon,
Babylonian brick, erected there
by those who had earlier returned,
by leave of Cyrus.
The ocean, at last; not to swim,
but to bathe and splash, and by divine
covenant, to thoroughly dry themselves,
for fear of death by wind and chill.