at every moment the beach re-writes itself out of nothing, waves form and fall an inundation of lowlands, a strew of corpses muttonbird, drinkbottle, a ship’s anchor
cemented in the headland from the night when the captain drove too close when the mate mistook signal fires for a church lit for easter — and they were lost a leatherjacket dazed in a blue bucket a shark in the estuary, dorsal slices the flood sea foam blowing like snow (the children make froth beards, play at Santa or lurk below the surface, little predators bless them) these things exist — literally, they’re here this morning but signify nothing, nothing but a guess that paradise begins with the gull’s wing and the tideline is the fortune-teller’s scatter — plastic nurdles and pearlshell says all things are possible, says new things come from dead things a hatchling fly on a slump of kelp iridescent thorax, red eyes wings like the lead glass windows of St Patrick’s on M. Street where they brought the bodies women coughing and on the wall their shadows men running shouting in the darkness
Image: City beach, near coal loader, Port Kembla NSW. I’ve been playing around with this poem for a little while now. The line ‘and on the wall their shadows’ is from Rilke’s poem Corpse Washing (trans. Len Krisak).