Threatening our tenacity that summer
were the most turbulent vandals of weather.
We drifted, guarding our freedom,
and not thinking the errors we’ve made
could prove our fragility. But then
a gloss-over in pewter at Hatteras
by that discreet brush of fog preceded a languor
at the marina where boats were sponged up like milk
into the null and void. Out of the southeast,
out of a free will that went undisciplined
all day and night, the wind looted the coastline
with more than one accomplice,
stealing in quick swiping gusts the sheen
of a generation’s endeavors. The sea in its turmoil,
rode a fast shuttle back and forth
into an outbreak of foam, a sparkling seltzer
of sea water that kept striking somewhere onshore,
housebreaking and plundering. Terror lit up
the eye of the lighthouse that stood on the edge
of familiar warnings, listening—
ever so much in those desperate hours.
What does it mean to violate an appeal
for salvation; to surrender in exile
when at last the final scene plays out?
What will it mean to be left without bread,
without the reserve to take back, to take over—
given nothing but the astonishing ruins of a landscape
we merely have the means to stare at?