I used to love the tides,
The taste of chilled salt air,
And the granite boulders scattered along the shoreline
Like dice cast in a glacial game of craps.
But there came a morning when
I looked for the ocean and I saw nothing but
Miles of seaweed shining in the sun,
I picked my way down the slope past the low tide mark
Where I swam the week before,
Now stepping carefully rock to rock.
A mackerel flapped at my feet,
The smacking sound too loud.
I stood with the fish
Until it was still.
“You disgust me,”
He said on the last night we spent together.
I sat on the floor and did not cry.
Later, the apology swooped in like a vaudeville hook,
But true things linger.
Tectonic plates drag apart
Solid rock splits unnoticed until
Continents are separated by an ocean
So vast the far coast is
The sun was hot and
The fish was dead.
Pebbles and silt underfoot
Warm and sharp,
Black grit between my toes.
I could hear the armored legs of a crab
Tottering towards the trench ahead.
It disappeared over the edge
And I followed.
Climbing down the cliffside,
Hand over hand,
The wall slick,
Damp algae underneath my fingernails.
The abyss was drained of sea-water and
The fall, when it came, was infinite.
Catherine Weiss is a poet and author living in Northampton, MA. In her spare time she enjoys ping pong, monopoly, and audiobooks. Her website with more info can be found at http://catherineweiss.com.