“Water is Always Available to the Animals of the Sea”
// Kim Roberts
(From an educational sign at the Marine Science Center, Port Townsend, WA)
Why speak of it? Moon face, dog face,
bloody fist face, face like a pumpkin pie.
Angle of fin. Flick of tentacle.
Then the frilled distress of gill,
the copper scent of despair:
Why speak of its absence either?
Air is cruel, and some things are fat
with self-prophecy; “obvious”
is too easy and flat a word to serve.
Banana face, buck tooth, saw nose,
fan dancer, flirt.
There is only the present; water may ebb
or flow but why measure a constant?
Who takes comfort in what’s not noted?
Tomorrow, tomorrow, yells a man on the shore.
We think time is our element. We dip our nets
into the sea, a silver line, a lure– moon face, dog face, hope like an open door.