Hot. Sweaty. Salty. Cold. Damp. Windy. Here is Staten Island.
Cars, school buses, public buses, children on bicycles, mothers pushing strollers. Here is Staten Island.
Air leaden with car and bus exhaust. Grass browning beneath styrofoam cups, cigarette butts, and roach clips. Here is Staten Island.
Warm and breezy, the scent of high tide rises above, dancing with the trees and their leaves, creating a scent I’ve never known any other place to hold. It smells of cucumbers, salt, and the sea: high tide. Even the trees sway in their delight of this brief respite from their unwarranted constant abuse.
A few moments’ walk from the boulevard that scars the island from end to end, lies the shore. Here is home.
The brown waves roll in languidly, lapping the shore with drowsy kisses.
The clay sand envelops my feet, begging me with each step not to leave.
I fear that the sand filling with refuse and water tarnishing from lack of care, will become another empty wasteway. That one day, very soon, the scent of the tide and the sight of the Atlantic Ocean will be forever lost in a haze of smog. Sand becoming a carpet heavy with garbage, blackened water that burns to the touch, and the fear that not even the trees will dance with the tide.