Hot Rainbow Sand

Rufus Knuppel

Little ripples of heat fluttered

from the sand and

little Billy leaned against the wind.

With some air

he ballooned his swollen belly.

He stood there with his mouth open

and let the wind flow down his throat

over the ribs of his trachea

and oxygenate his unsoiled bronchi.

He stared down the horizon

and screamed.

His thin hair whipped and flailed

as his vocal chords

rubbed themselves violently.

The wind and heat threw

the sound waves

toward the sky.

The lobsters on his bathing suit

clung to the ridges of his

exposed hip bones.

He opened his eyes wide

and let the wind blow away

the wet film on his

cornea until he saw

the blurred colors

of the world.

(They were teal and white

and blue like the robin’s egg

his mother had shown him.)

He fell to his knees, and let the

rays of the sun

bear down on his back.

He pressed his ear

against the hot sand

and smiled. He heard

the ocean waves

tumble on the shore

and the grinding

of the tiny grains

and the thumping of his pulse

in his eardrum. He lay his back to the earth

and faced the sky.

He lifted up the sand in a fist

and let the tiny beads slip

from his palm and into the valley

of his chest and

the cavity of his naval.

The sand slithered away

and dripped down from his sides

when rolled over onto his stomach.

Some stuck to the

unrubbed milky white SPF 50 that

had been smeared

on his wriggly ribs and arms.

He saw the sand,

the pinks and blacks

and grays and whites,

and he wondered


these little broken bits of tectonic earth

had sifted from the depths of the sea

and found their way

to the creases in his little hand.

The beach umbrellas and

laughter and splashing fell away.

Billy and

his belly button and

the sand

were alone.