On an early morning walk of coffee and salt
under a sullen sky filled with the tridents of wings,
I add my footprints beside a blowsy sea (praised be
Poseidon,) that accepts the given of a northeast wind,
and the still mirror of a summer day. This ocean's re-
chargeable, my one immutable constant, except for shifting
cobalt, soda bottle green, the edgy, unsettling gray
of northeast storms. She alone, resurrects the child in me--
the girl of full moon nights and open windows, the fledgling
woman alone in an old garage apartment in her
hometown, where a carnelian sun set over fishing
vessels and empty river-front packing plants.
I share my ocean with other insomniacs. Runners pass,
racing the sun to its zenith. Down the beach there is Yoga,
and a contemplative in his lawn chair watches the hypnotic
breakers form and reform with their zebra patterns,
driven, as they are, to decorate the shoreline, to deposit
spittle for scavenger sanderlings, chasing miniscule
morsels. The haughty gulls' absolute arrogance is skewered
by their spindly legs, negotiated so nimbly, two
seem a single navigation.
Where are the donax when the waves roll back, hard-
wired to burrow their small shells in wet sand? Are they
history, as in sea oats I may not pick, sand hills I may not
climb, seines no longer dragged by neighborhood guys
bare-chested in waist deep surf to snare slippery supper.
"Dommage"! "Que lastima"! All of the above. As for myself,
I sail my colors high, no pity here--"Tout change, tout
change, tout a' grandi' like the sea urchin I once
was, washing away the blemishes of being.