By Krikor N. Der Hohannesian
The sand, sun-bleached, damp,
perfect for molding,
compliant as softened clay
to sculptors’ hands.
Embryonic in initial form,
a mound inchoate. Slowly,
the beach womb gestates,
hints at promise, immaculate
as alabaster. First-born,
perimeter walls, crowned with bartizans
shielding invisible eyes,
sentinels against all threat.
Then battlements of merlons
and crenels, chemins de ronde,
arrow slits and murder holes.
And last, a moat, there must be a moat!
The digging of my hands feverish,
urgent — dog paws disinterring
a forgotten bone, long buried.
In afternoon’s low rays
tiny facets of silica burst in an infinity
of dazzling suns. The low tide turns,
multi-tongued nascent probes,
feeble and tentative, then greedier
with each new foray, licking
at glistening grains of talus and rampart
as at a coat of sugar.
It is down to castle and sea, locked
in a languid death dance as the sand
capitulates, as it must, to the diurnal ritual,
drowned like common table salt
in the froth of the ocean’s backwash.
The tide, a day’s work done, retreats
at the beckoning of the moon mistress
to its ocean lair. Evidence for the dawn
but a few scattered grave mounds.
Copyright © 2020 by Krikor N. Der Hohannesian.