after Dover Beach, Matthew Arnold
Dead eyed and walking this desolate stretch of sand;
Infinite grains of futility to think that any of this will last.
Avoid the tide line, its grating roar, its eternal sadness
will get us all in the end. But for now, comb, sweep
scan for signs, warnings of something, somewhere
to lay the blame. The wind sends delicate froth scudding
across the black grey plains, silica winks nature’s catalogue
of jokes. My nostrils contract at rotting kelp, abandoned
hermits’ homes, a carcass mangled in fishing line. The salty
tangle of broken feathers, scraps and skull picked clean;
light and easy as life when I had health.
Genes locked in bone to add to my collection, fragments
of a fishing urn and desiccated seaweed crawling
with creatures unseen.