A Poem by Will Burns
The smell of harvested shellfish
fills a shed on a stone beach.
In a restaurant on the same
portion of coast, wearing animal skin
worn thin with age, a man drinks
a glass of cold white wine
with a bowl of chowder.
Without thought he understands
how his island survives
its epidemics by eschewing water
for beer — sells her scallops and oysters,
eats her mussels and whelks,
sucks her razor clams
straight up out of the sand.
Somewhere a carnival that once
spread west, trailing the continent
in caravans, threatening borders,
burning acid grassland and
re-planting indigenous woods,
reaches its end, tempers
to just a thing out on the water.