TSM 170

More dead stuff now it's those crabs 
with eighteen eyeballs – skyballs on stalks, 
periscope glass-eyed Mary's, body parts 
litter the beach like cracked faces
looking back from the sand

I shake my claw at the sky, defiant old man
still skittering sideways through life and you 
let go my hand, slip into the tide a fish –
school away – sunlight echoing off your laughter,
your voice receding in sonar pings

Because I said it was time to leave this place,
return to the city, reverse migration 
of the gannets – streaming in flights 
back to their roosts in the tiny rock warrens 
of Manhattan

Searching for you from above the water, 
my wingtips brush the tops of the waves
hoping you feel my touch like cool sheets 
drawn back from your shoulders.
I dive, transform,

but you are not fooled 
by my clownfish act, my doll-fish face
a lethal disguise –
how I would pull you from the safety of the sea
and leave us both fighting for breath.

If I fail us, then return me here.
When at dawn the dogs come
to leap in the waves and devour 
the broken promises of crabs, 
do not deny their pleasure –

leave them to roll in my ashes.

The Sunday Muse

27 thoughts on “TSM 170

  1. Hands across the water, wingtips across the sea? What’s an old crab to do but do whatever might work to avoid becoming the reason some pet owner shouts, “No, King, stop rolling in that!” Let’s give that crab one big hand, folks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You have given a sheer brilliance to a gruesome scene Qbit! So many sticky and magnificent lines! I love and still must cover my eyes not to see where the image took you! I say Manhattan is not so bad. LOL Amazing writing as always my friend!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gone to the dogs, a good write. I loved the gannets returning to the “tiny rock warrens of Manhattan.” Its like a puzzle where on Manhattan that might be. Until and unless I dream of this I will settle on the Battery Park area, also one of my loves with fond memories.
    ..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. this poem slips and slithers through the surrealistic, giving glimpses of familiar things like love and sex and death! Made me feel like I was being thrown back and forth between shore and retreating surf – marvellous!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Skyballs on stalks – what a glorious image of all things crabby. Your writing told a graphic tale awash with imagery to delight in. A most enjoyable read, thanks 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So many brilliant images in this, all infinitely relatable even tho bizarre, or perhaps because they are, and the world and the shells we inhabit are also. I especially like the third through final stanzas, with their strong phrases of both alienation and love; the clownfish can’t compete with the safety of the sea, the refuse of our lives staring back up from the sand, a source of play and amusement to dogs who will always be happier than we are. Loved this, qbit.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You have a novel in this poem. We live in a garbage heap these days of our own making and dream of wings to carry us away and give us a means to act on our savior syndrome.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Caught up in the both the image of the life at the beach until the final withdrawal at the end. You paint an amazing internal and external flight.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “Searching for you from above the water,
    my wingtips brush the tops of the waves
    hoping you feel my touch like cool sheets
    drawn back from your shoulders.
    I dive, transform, . . . ”

    I love the crab-sideways references,
    and the above stanza is excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

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