...How thick the water is tonight. Whiskers of fire
grow around the eyes of wild birds who stalk the surf
as I watch their path diminish into the sea.

I know their steps are covered by air and water
and yet no matter where I step
the stones are the same stones;

but what salmon are as they burn their
lives out along the fuse of stream
is open to question--egg? Flame? Story?

...How can we say a flower is beautiful
without appreciating its petals? Surely the muck
around the tendrils is as wondrous as the petals,

surely the clams in the beach as brilliant as suns
upon the shores of space. Waves break behind
my eyes. ...

from The hat named ceiling by Sean Bentley, Herb Payton, Robin Smith

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