by Leslie Leyland Fields
Across the wide bay, fin whales feed,
great sinking ships.
Wind lifts ocean to lace.
Mountains wear their own sky,
The dizzying spruce sway shadows across the sun.
Under the bay, red corals grow houses
like veins, hearts.
And here, along the tideline, fragments of it all—
whale bones, ash, lost trees, homes.
Each time I come here with you
the continent’s shelf tilts, empties, delivers
to our hands and feet this surplus.
And gathering these pieces
I am already generous,
forgiving breached promises, lost homes, broken hopes.
I lay these weights down
on the beach,
now small and light as the coil of red coral
I rest at your feet.