What is it, he said.
Sand in my teeth, she said.
Salty, he asked.
No. Tastes like nothing.
Let me see. I’ll try and get it out.
The girl closed her eyes and opened her mouth and the boy looked for sand between her teeth.
What, did you drop your sandwich in the sand, he said.
No, she shook her head and said, I haven’t eaten anything all day. It’s just so windy down there.
She showed her teeth again and the boy looked. He put his hands up to her head but didn’t touch it. He held his head to her mouth like he was peering through it at the Pacific, and looking this way her mouth was a kind of telescope and the ocean a kind of soul. The ocean waited. The ocean waved. The wind couldn’t decide what it wanted to do.
It’s good we’re up here now, she said.
They looked down and she drew her tongue across her teeth and spit and said, Kiss me. That should work.
And he kissed her but couldn’t find anything. He only found her inside of her mouth. There wasn’t a fleck in the world that would convince him anything existed there besides her. The sea waved. Everything waited.
It wasn’t until later at dinnertime that the boy bit down into the sand he’d gotten from the girl. And now sand was all he could taste no matter how many times he tried and tried to wash it out.