Crying on the Coast

for Moises Velasquez-Manoff and Gabriella Demczuk


Wildfires are another accelerant.
Saltwater marsh advancing
on the pond pine with a blank check
and a taste for renovation, as expected.

Death occurring unevenly across
the landscape - sawgrass and black
needle rush are actually a beautiful setting
for selling discount sunglasses.

The eye travels on top of standing water,
consuming the few scraggly trunks that rise
above the muck. If only: the ghost forest 
regenerates its leaves, young trees

quickly sprout, eager and now able 
to gain a foothold in the marshes 
only their own forebears could tolerate.
The vision collapses in a synergy

of fire and salt. Acre upon
sun-bleached acre standing sentinel
to our failure. Still, a saltmarsh sparrow
nurses a nest of cordgrass. 

In my eyes: salinity goes up. 
The brain is a dark room, memory a salt print.

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