It Stings and it Heals


Abalone, starfish, Rain –

I suppose I will permit them into the waves.


Before concrete arteries, oceans substituted in one large jar, the preserved animals

now kept under microscopes    decayed

smelling like pickles and chlorophyll.

From the backyard of Western Biological,

bookcases store vegetables in filing cabinets

under the Pacific saliva.

As many as 100 encyclopedias attempt to

combine and separate

worms, urchins, nudibranchs,


to make a Picasso into a sensical Dali,

but we all know boxes don’t make sense

in a fluid body.

Cell walls are permeable,

rooms you can enter, float to and fro

exchange energy that is needed. Whenever you please.

Sit on a bench and ponder how the ocean spray

covers barnacles, seals, and humans

when dissection rips and fragments lives

“telling them very profound words to understand.”

Salty saliva drips from our eyes and their slippery pores.

It stings and it heals.


The fish slumber under God’s phalanges. 

They settle beneath kelp and mellow swells that

cannot stop. 

Wooden ships identify the blubbery fish, unknowing 

that big fish do not slumber – 

they rise and saturate

the fish bowl with bubbles – North Star

harnessing helpless plankton.

Men on wooden ships laugh 

at the swarms of big fish. 

The men are wrong. Big fish with blubber do not slumber.

One day the men may slumber

at the intertidal

their phalanges scattered, 

saturated by God’s chirography.