I’ve been working on this poem for years, since my first creative writing class sophomore year of college. I never liked it much, but I felt like the experience was something I absolutely had to put in words. The summer between high school and college, a group of us snuck out onto this river beach in Bivalve where this magical glowing algae covers everything–it lights up when you kick the sand and washes in on the little waves. I remember lying down in the sand at the narrow point where two parts of the river came together and speculating about the somewhat terrifying future ahead. Anyway, reading Rilke this week brought me back to this experience–the almost palpable images of that night–the fear and comfort of the darkness. I think that mood (and a few borrowed images) helped me get the experience down a bit better.
Fixed moments in the space-time continuum,
six black silhouettes define the mirror line
between starred universe and starred beach,
sand laden with phosphorescence written up in Friday’s Daily Times.
Six shapes jump and kick and skitter little green lives.
Ten hands clasp,
six wriggling sea creatures display themselves to
screaming, vibrating heavens,
promising that by this time next year they will not have deviated from this point.
Two sighs, three quick tears,
an inaudible resonance holds,
Four wheels speed past fence, gate,
six trailers where people live.