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The bay is awash in twilight black
Silver streaks glinting off curling crests—
A maiden’s tears,
Singing a lament into the ghostly realm,
As endless morose ranks of hooded, heavyset clouds,
Harbingers of wraiths emerging beneath the waves,
Sweep over the lovely moon,
And muffle Diana’s soft cries of anguish.
The stars fade into the tapestry of twilight,
A poisonous veil sweeps over the silent bay,
And the eerie howls of a murderer’s rage
The ethereal gusts of Poseidon’s fury
Stir up the murky waters
And vile beasts that lie within.
Roars of thunder pound the waves
Mighty cymbals that rattle the souls of this earth,
A spectacular cascade of melodies foul and sinister
Writhe across the dark waters.
The frothing, tossing tides charge ashore
Like war-mad horses bespeckled with blood
Pounding the silent beaches, leaping high into the air in ecstasy
Majestic phantoms of silvery spray
That crash upon the jagged rocks,
Eloquent spires of ebony twisting from the shallows like serpents,
The sole remnants of once regal bastions against the raging ocean.
The turbulent seas are deranged madmen,
A poisonous blight upon the land.
Tangles of seaweed wash upon the gritty sand
The skeletal remains of fish entangled within
Their rotten eyes bleeding salty tears.
Crabs scuttle for the quiet shadows of broken shells,
Scattered like broken gravestones on the desolate sands
As shadows whisper through the air.
Bloated stormclouds drape from the heavens—
Crooked beasts leering at the moon,
Their diseased spittle spattering upon the earth.
A blast of lightning lights cracks open the starry shells of the galaxies
Cleaving the sea, which is blind in it rage,
And throwing the bay into sharp relief.
A penetrating glare alike to day
Illuminating the ragged boat bobbing upon the waves
A tormented, sodden abomination of humanity,
Its hull cracked and dented by nature’s contemptuous rage.
The merciless northern wind battering its rickety lanterns
So that the clanging of metal intersperses with the flickering light,
A dying, darkening star of society
Crowded on all sides by the churning wrath of Poseidon.
Fishermen yell in frantic, coarse fragments of broken language,
Hauling up coil after coil of sodden gill nets,
The wispy, ghostly veils a silent, eerie graveyard
In which fish of all sizes are suspended in a delicate dance of death,
Teeth glinting in the moonlight, blood painting their throats,
The dark merciless fingers of the raging ocean, of nature’s tears
Streaming off their stiff bodies.
From time to time, a coarse man,
His soul weighted by the guilt of these illegal midnight endeavors,
Would call out in vulgar joy,
And scavenge from the bloated carcasses,
A bulky, nondescript heap of pale brown flesh
Its scales shining dully in the uncertain light,
The fish’s mouth open in a silent curse, its bladder the cause of its demise.
These men, on the very brink of society, honest work inadequate to keep the tears
From streaking down the face of their ragged children, fueled the dark Asian market lusting for The exquisite bladder, a platter of extravagant cuisine with dismal origins.
The carcasses of nameless animals
Sprawled haphazardly on the deck,
An ignored symbol of nature’s grief.
Once nature’s proud bounty of life,
They were diminished to nothing,
Rotting on the moldy deck,
As the iron jaws of humanity squeezed ever more tightly around their homes.
A small cetacean,
It smooth gray skin blending in with the sweeping shadows of the night,
Lies among these corpses, entangled in the fine nets of greed.
Its skin is a smooth gray tinged with blue, pale in death,
Its petulant mouth is slightly agape in a sad smile of submission to fate
A trickle of blood seeping from its snout, darkened with mascara
Dark rings encircle its small eyes—the innocent, smiling eyes of a baby new to this world
Now bleached with the whiteness of death.
A tiny, lovely cousin of the graceful dolphin,
Oppressed for ages by cold-hearted humans,
As it found its small safe haven clogged by the vessels of urbanization,
As boats churned their way through its home,
As factories and buildings suffocated its families and friends,
Until the merciless clamps of humanity snuffed out nature’s gift of life
And there it lies in the murky half-light
A pitiful, delicate doll staring at the death-coils in frozen agony
It was a delicate, beautiful animal in death,
Piled away as trash in a dim, dark corner
Savage slashes oozing dark blood onto the slick deck,
Souvenirs of its struggle against the foul gill nets
As it slowly suffocated under the starry sky
Because of humanity’s greed,
A snuffed out candle melting away into the shadows.
The boat rocks heavily,
And the vaquita slides back into its watery grave
With a small splash.
The cold, lofty moon an uncaring witness,
As the ripples slowly disappear into the nether world.
Trapped, trapped in the throes of death.
A teenage boy sits hunched within the cabin,
A lonely outcast drifting upon the seas
The flickering light casting shadows on his pallid face
Shifting demons clamoring for release beneath his waxen skin
Math variables and historic genocides
Assaulting his sleep-laced mind,
The sinister songs of the crafty ocean leaking into his shackled brain,
His mind a chained prisoner drugged and restrained,
Struggling, blood streaking its face, against his mental guards.
The boy does not know this, he is a slave to his soul,
His hand is trembling, on the verge of failure,
But he does not stop, he has to push through,
Has to sculpt each perfect letter after perfect letter
Through his unwilling sweat and protesting blood.
Belligerent genes, poisonous offspring of the demon lord,
Grasp at his mind, beating nerves down broken pathways time and again
As they struggle futilely against the adamant wall of genetics.
The boy does not know this, he is a slave to his soul,
His eye twitches incessantly, his lean muscles flex nonstop,
Clamoring for release, yet chained to this hostile rhythm.
The flickering light of the boat wobbles in his mind and he sways with uncertainty.
Did he forget a response on the literature quiz?
Were there germs on the hands of that crooked hag who served him lunch?
Was that accusation in the eyes of his friend as he stormed to detention?
Anxiety swirls in his brain, rocking with the rhythm of the sea
Suffocating him like the gray clouds high above; every peal of thunder
Jolting his consciousness, worsening the spasms.
His eye twitches incessantly.
Everything must be perfect, everything must be perfect, every sweep of the limbs, every delicate stroke of the accursed pencil, every twitch and flex of the muscles—the rhythm says so, and the rhythm is all, for the genes have decreed it…everything must be perfect.
A mighty beast from abyssal depths,
Slams into the flimsy fisherman’s boat, rocking it heavily to port,
So that waves slosh onto the sodden deck, splattering the rusted railings.
The boy’s body moves of its own accord, a sinister force streaking through his arm as it sweeps across the table.
Textbooks thud dully onto the soggy floorboards, papers flutter through the air
In a whimsical flight of grace, then settle to the ground before the boy’s bloodshot eyes.
The sweeping curves of every letter, carved out so achingly from his soul,
Melt silently into the murky water sloshing on the floor,
Disappearing into irretrievable depths.
Failure burns into the boy’s heart, as the music of the ocean swirls around him,
Depression sweeps before his eyes,
A perfect sanctuary.
He feels its alluring effects sweeping over his mind, extending a smothering, suffocating veil Over the prison where his mind lies so trapped,
And silent tears slip from beneath downcast lashes.
Trapped, trapped in the beauty of perfection.