Live Tide, Dead Tide

A thousand mussels at the wrack line,

cracked open at dawn.

A repast for the gulls.

Murres eviscerated,

a murre alone,

moored in the sand,

blinking fast,

not long now.

Surfers calling it quits

because the surf is dead.

A lone crab, barely moving.

The merciful crow approaches,

a method in black madness.

New swallows dip and dive.

They fly our dream of being alive.

That smell, that ocean smell.

It smells like—

I don’t know.

We can assume it depends

on how death recycles life

this particular morning.

If I wait here long enough,

on this salty log,

the answer may come,

when the gulls looks at me.