Augusts, I’d pussyfoot the breakers where
the North Atlantic tumbled post-glacial rubble,
clinking and banging my ankles. Wet, emerging
in the gathering froth, their colors and striations
flash and I delight as if invited to choose from
the riches strewn at my feet. I fill my plastic bucket.
Later, I’m moving rocks collected over years
of shore vacations, wrapping and nestling them
into boxes between ceramic plates and drinking glasses.
It seems wrong; they’re heavy, take up space, and I harbor
disappointment in their matte detachment. Still I take them,
one by one from my mantel where they were lined impassive,
grey like bones. Meanwhile there are little rumbles
of the plates below us sliding into each other as we coast
a fickle crust, the mortal strata, over a deep lava river.
We erect skyscrapers like anchors.