what I didn’t tell the insurance agent
How time knelt down. And the deer hit my car
like a thud of earth. About the elongated whirl
of the Ryder truck speeding past me on the highway.
How July was folding in and August threatened, or how
brilliant the dew shone in the aftermath of morning
and the meeting of land and sea changed constantly,
minnows stranded in pools and puddles until night
tide brought them back to sea. How the sun, porous
yellow then orange, crossed the striated sky
and the cold tide retreated. The beach a moonscape
of dune and grass and fluke prints graced black craters
of sea where the humpback—neon with zooplankton
splashed her way back to the dark. And I was pulled
toward shark and jellyfish. Swirl and kelp like hair,
smaller fish through my legs a school of bats, light
on blackened wings. How the enormous undertow—
a million muscles of sea—pulled down on me. And
in the rear-view mirror, the deer tried to get up, her eyes
glazed with tree and earth. And how I was in a hurry
for my vacation and did not stop the car.
Published online January 10 2008.