katlian bay in early september; it is a rainforest, it does as it is called to do

a short dock
in a low tide.
brown bear,
alone, walks
a temporary beach.
graceful
in its search
for shellfish.

aluminum skiff and
three hoods,
the last one
intended to proof
against water.
and all this water
does, is support.

into gray,
flanked by green,
rain driving
against wrinkled
forehead, squinted
eyes. what is
the point of
these brows?
through them,
blonde, a tinge
of gold,
i can see,
despite the rain.
driving.

into the body
of bay, wind
washing water
to small swell.
an occasional gust
takes the top
from wave,
turns it to froth.

one buoy is
bright orange,
almost pink.
it glows
in the green gray
steel bay.

one buoy is
dusky,
like the sky
after sun’s setting.
it takes more
searching
to be found.

the skiff is
pointed towards
the far edge
of this bay,
over where
a recent landslide
terminates,
at water’s edge.
a mass of brown
broken trees
and mud.
it’s too early,
too early
for alder and
fireweed
to take residence,
bright green,
in this newly exposed
slide of earth.
on either side,
dark green
hemlock and
spruce.
lime green
usnea hangs
in scruff from tree top.
above it all,
at the very top,
eagles.

a skate is pulled.
fifteen baited hooks
trying
to entice halibut,
one hundred and eighty
feet below.
a small halibut
comes over
yawing rail of silver
skiff. it is
gray green like
an old olive.
flipping it over,
it is creamy
white and glowing.

a crab pot
is pulled up
by hand.
another.
a third.
one dungeness crab
for the effort of
hand pulling
three baited pots.
the pots aren’t heavy.
water runs
from gloved hand
down an arm.
some finds its way
inside
a cinched wrist,
runs to elbow,
inside,
a small soaking
of layers.
crab is
flipped over.
its carapace
nuzzled under
the inside edge
of rubber boots.
hands grip leg
and claw and,
pull.

carapace and entrails
wash overboard,
crab is cracked
neatly in two.
rinsed in salt water,
placed on diamond
plated deck
of skiff.
a leg,
the small one,
like the pinky of our hand,
it kicks.
connected to
its former self
only
by memory,
still
it kicks.

the crab is bagged,
halibut secured
in a tote.
skiff is rinsed
in sea water,
green gray and
frothing.
the skiff
pointed back to
the open
end of bay.

scanning
the beach
as the short
dock nears,
brown bear is
nowhere to be
seen.

Published by Zak

an intertidal island in an ocean of impermanence.

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