Monday, January 17, 2011

Or, maybe not


The ocean was so near the air
was saline, always cold, and never still:
you waited for the gulls to come
each morning, though they were alien,
ugly, and sounded so sad
you shivered. You bought cheap doughnuts
and tossed torn bits
up to where the birds bobbed.
Once or twice they missed,
but that was all. You were thrilled.
You ignored the water.
The sun had not quite returned.
Along the shore, washed up
jellyfish lay about like weird trash.
Kneeling on the cool grit,
your face low to their almost-shapes,
you tried to stare into
whatever they were, or had been-
clear like glass, or bags of slowly dispensed medicine.
They made you ill.
You took a long stick
and pierced one,
through and through,
though you felt bad about it.
That this was an unknown transgression.
Still, you couldn't help opening it up,
stirring its invisible, inscrutable systems.
Water like jellied tears ran out.
This bothered you most.
You regretted the harm,
completely, though the thing was nerveless, cold.
You walked back.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I grew up on a Florida coast and used to see this all the time. I remember jabbing jellyfish with a long stick sometimes, as you described, feeling horrible afterwards for some reason.
Love this!