The world is sharp:
at the bay, a cluster of sandpipers, barefoot.
Down the road, the old church holds
its fluid divine
phenomena and yellow sphere of wallpaper.
Water reaches the dock and suspends for a time
before losing that same fascination.
Oyster shells are stacked in flamboyant white
frilled piles beside a ramp.
Rusty walls and delicate grasses, salt-sprinkled.
In the store, glass jars
with a series of small careful labels.
As usual, it is all salient and there is nothing
Neglected, and slightly abundant.
I care to let go attention.
There’s a quality to disconsolate permission that I dare not
speak: whether we need to amass
what we’ve been introduced to. Unmoored,
a risk, and with kinship. When does want fill
as much as the more narrow need?
Around me overflows green.
I walk to the ferns. See the blackberries fattening up
Everything I breathe thrown together, acute, co-existing.
After days of inchoate gray, days of inveterate windows,
sunlight begins trawling for more places to land.
The bottom of hierarchy. I go looking
for innocence on the coastal
dune prairie. All I know is sanderlings
clipping their beaks
to the water. Down, down.
I envy more traces. In my cottage, I watch many videos.
Want to start over, untangle.
The artist Richard Tuttle sits in a wide room of his lines.
Visible, invisible. Renewal. It is time to make a world.
Along cove lines, the mudflats
and channels, a black-
bellied plover is foraging food. Birds on the wharf,
birds at the cloth of the ocean, birds on docked
boats. There is a constant
distance, the hunt, a slight clamoring.
All of this happens.
The bay donates its reverence
to the tall eager grasses and gentles it back out
without thinking, opening bare the inevitable sand.
A thousand times temporary,
a scar, the exact necessity to brim and to empty.