Great South Bay, Fall 2002
All that glitters is the bay
in hazed-over afternoon sun.
The tide's in, Fire Island a thin
lifting of dark earth and sand
that crests and wavers
on this fourth day of autumn.
Fractured crab claws sprawl
on the old pier's scoured planks,
the shell of the living animal
cracked open: a husk in two unequal
halves, picked clean by the gull
that stood near, content and silent.
In this space, at the slashed edge
of the continent, a late summer
swims back against relentless drift:
seeds, small insects, rays of light,
swept through blue September sky.
They soared and glimmered
like worlds burning out,
their diminutive lights laser bursts,
at first, but swiftly softening.
And I saw that that day, too, would
toward night, that all sun-lit things
would darken and contract: that
and life itself, must vanish, though
© by Charles Fishman