Angela Narciso Torres
I hold these pieces of beachglass
the color of sky. Their contours, ridged
and rounded, wear the sorrows of the deep.
Clouds of pulled-apart cotton drift overhead.
Shadows fall where gulls’ wings catch
the sun. There is an element of surprise
in everything created, just as there is
solitude in music. I am happy as I hold
this beachglass. Happy, as when reaching
the chord that resolves a minor fugue. Happy
to find the same blue in stones and wings.
At school, I knew a girl from Cadiz
who kept bits of seashells in a bell jar.
Her eyes were green as the open sea.
The jar stood on a bookshelf
near her bedroom window. Always,
by summer’s end, she added a layer
to her mollusk-mosaic of pale conch,
cockle, purple urchin, coral. I’ve kept
the sand dollar she pressed into
my hand the day we met.
Late in the day the boy chases gulls,
jumps waves. His brother is content
with sitting, shifting weights of sand.
The sea calls each one differently.
On hearing a two-part invention,
one follows the spiraling counterpoint,
another seeks the absolute of theme.
Now the tide is low. Ankle-deep
I wade in swirls of seagrass, kelp and laver.
The same sun warms us. The same waves—
feeding, uprooting us for centuries.