Away to the horizon, no being in sight,
stretches the great gray eye of the sea,
enigmatic under drifts of fog, lashed with wind,
troubled under cover of glowering cloud. A spate
of rain attends the shorebound writhing trees.
When the morrow opens clear and calm, I will pierce
the shimmering skin of the sea, dip into the edge
of a lapping wave, peer down into the swaying currents
and watch fishes come forth from their rocky roosts
to swim along with me: stripped sargent majors,
citrus angelfish, purple-banded parrotfish, silver sea chubs,
blue bottlenoses, surgeonfish, orange-harnessed triggerfish,
translucent trumpet fish, long-snouted barracuda fry,
whiskered catfish and many kinds of wrasse.
In minutes, I’ll spy thirty species in as many colors
within the eye of the sea, swaying in synchronized schools
or in simple singularity; they’ll weave unconcerned
through transparent waters, suddenly dart into coral tunnels,
dive under a reef overhang, hide in its niches. They’ll swim
along with me, below me, oblivious of me-- under the surface
poking snouts where my fins stir up the sand, smell the molecules
streaming past us, sense predators but ignore snorkeling intruders.
No shorebound creature can see into this eye of the sea, only
the one who slips through its invisible surface membrane to loll
among the creatures and currents that stretch into the deep.
first published in Poetry Atlas
©2013 Bonnie Manion