There is a sense of ruin at low tide--
drowned things surface
like relics unearthed, spiritless.
Thorny spikes of urchins, random wrecks
of shell. You poke broken remains
as if seeking the essence of the thing
as distinguished from its matter.
You hunt for the delicately pleasing
in the difficult diameter of a bone
knowing you’ve no control over
what washes back in and what
stays lost forever.
At high tide, the sea was full,
continuous. Every form within it
had an interconnected sweetness.
Beached, these twisted strands
of kelp are slimy waste, unlikely links
in survival’s chain.
You sit on a callous of rock, a painful outcrop
that wasn’t there
before the tide swept back
leaving lifeless artifacts behind.