By Brett G. Palmer
Seagulls gather in crowds to comb the shoreline,
send small crabs scuttling past the tide
as emerald water churns rhythmically to a slow,
saltwater heartbeat, covering the coast in a repetitious
Beach worms burrow narrow tunnels in the sand
that bubble over as water washes over their entrances,
lapped by foam, a sea nettle floats ashore —
wispy arms coiling down the sand like wires.
Discarded mussel shells dot the embankment —
stone crabs peek beneath a swarm of minnows,
algae blooms on a durable carapace of brown
and red chitin as if it were a sea-rock.
Lone, bottlenose dolphin crescendos in-and-out
of its water world, taking breaths of air through
a blowhole. The seven, sinistral whorls of a
lightning whelk forms a rigid spiral on
rock rubble overgrown with seaweed — whose colony
stretches the shelf and deeper water. King mackerel
stalks extensive reefs outside the Gulf Stream as it
sends schools of fish and sperm whales west to
the Sigsbee Abyssal Plain, where a pod’s sonorous echo
signals a swift dive past a forest of octocoral arms,
furled with snake stars, among the unrecognizable ruins
of a former metropolis:
Distant sound of a buried, broken flute.
Absent aroma of flowers in a sponge-garden.
Lost relics of creatures that lived on land.