In May the paths into the dunes
are roped off from foot traffic
because the birds amass to breed.

You can watch them through binoculars
from the edge of a parking lot,
white invisible deltas that drop

and glint, cataractic floaters
against the sun rising from the sea
or fluttering midday from nests

spiked inside the broken clumps
of compass grass. Or on a plaque
read about a lighthouse stretched

like bones beneath the waves.
When Herakleitus observed,
“you can’t step twice into the same river,”

he didn’t mean you couldn’t trust
experience but thought to illustrate
how “nature loves to hide” beneath

its own swift surfaces. He meant
there’s pleasure in deception
not despair, delight when we recognize

a tern’s or plover’s flash and glitter,
silhouettes that navigate the thermal river,
declare themselves like scraps of paper

then disappear.