by Bill Beigel
White and black wings, almost mirage and full-breathing shadow
Spinning, skimming arabesque above the water
The slightest turn to the surface of the wings
A radical shake and shift in flight and speed and balance and more balance
Right-angle-sharp wing tips leave their course in the water
For only the briefest glance of a second, maybe it is just a fast joke
As fleeting as everything else on and under the sea
Except the colors, without argument
The sunken, deep, dirty, sun-flashed green
Yes, or the naked, laughing blue that mirrors the sky,
Or the slate blue that mirrors pure blue above, storm clouds sentenced to the tropics this season
Of the seasons that we live
The black sea at night that mirrors the Moon and Venus, to their surprise and delight
And I’m racing with the frigatebird
Across the water that isn’t always there, and the faster I go the more I notice and the less I understand
About everyone else that races.
And I wonder who races faster than me?
The clouds in the storm?
The dolphins, as if they are real, and their cuts and jabs against their liquid life
The mute and forgotten and intestate current, that starts in another sea,
pulled by the Moon, if the moon wishes to dance at this ball?
Or the frigatebird that I saw
Almost a mirage, black and white spinning
The hard, dark beat of its wings against the flat, black, hiding place of the sea