Sharp and wet scents,
A carnage of puce seaweed
Piled like bloodied bodies.
Claret and rubbery tubular bobs,
Something’s spectacular innards.
It was the nature of dreams and loneliness.
Like a domestic incident.
We climb down through the remnant
Into the cove,
Venture the beginnings of what once birthed us,
Attracted to our own demise.
Things washed ashore,
Torn from the black, wet womb of our Mother,
Lost from their meaningful beginnings.
Gifts from the sea,
Miscarriages of trust,
The aftermath of some nativity.
Still, we fancy ourselves seafaring,
Fisher people in a marine sanctuary.
Balanced on our haunches
Alien to our own saline beginnings.
Daft and forgetful
To the salty brine that once delivered us.
Now, with curious hands and big feet,
Two clumsy bipeds.
We spend our time,
Backs up to the Pacific grove,
Peering into the crystal-clear Peninsula pools,
Algae lined with goose neck barnacles and mussel beds.
Where the moon-pulled waters washed up
Imagined love interests.
White conical limpets clinging tightly to rocks.
Quilled abalone feasting on kelp.
Spiny globular hedgehogs,
Blind and purple,
Exposed in the low tide.
We have done this before,
You and I,
Together. Careful pirates, scavengers
Ransacking for booty,
Coupling our attention and journeying like sailors.
Explorers of exotic places:
Christmas tree farms, used book stores, Nordstrom rack.
“Look! Over here, another and another!”
Your hand descends into the glass world.
Your triumphant call hastens me.
A slippery crag, my ankle lags
Late, turning slowly behind my foot.
Shoes cursed for failing to fit like feet,
Now puddled in a world of moving parts.
We insert ourselves into another’s nature?
Black eyed peas mobilize across spongy, maroon carpets.
Mushroom capped shapes of sage and lavender.
Mopped with tentacles instead of petals,
Graceful, like troops of ballerinas.
I hobble full of desire.
Your hand flat as a coin.
The generous invertebrate slowly sweeps
Its spinney underside against your palm.
A golden star.
Like the setting sun.
You offer me the celebrated.
I am not the least suppliant.
My arrogant pincers
Plucking against its resistance.
Snap, you picture me,
My brush with stardom.
I am made special by association, elevated in my own regard.
In the distance, a buoy gongs.
A bell tolls announcing another majestic show —
The deliberate departure.
We scramble to spectate on shore.
The blazing bittersweet disc
Slipping behind the edge of our world.
Leaving us in the pink, and tucking the sea’s life back in to Mother’s fold.
Poem by Tami Boehle-Satterfield, November 25, 2017
Artwork by Maria Draper