Thousands drowned in the juggernaut wave,
blanched in the salt, tossed like small terns
gasping beneath the bold, resurgent smashing
of the seismic sea swell bashing the scrawny coast.
Tiny islands, blips on the radar of the bream,
vanished in the churn of the rutting sea
recasting the atolls, flooding the sandy seams.
The fisher clinging to his raft, his child
plucked by the watery claw
the slim man, naked,
climbed the shuddering palm
straining taut muscles, stripping fragments
from the slippery bark
the punishing whip of the mindless storm
peeling back eyelids, lashing wet spine
melding into the frantic tree
his dark mouth choking on the rain
only to feel some sneaking lull,
a marine prayer that inbound sailors
mutter in their hempen chains
in the battering trains of certain colder waves
while the bright electric eels transmit loss
and the logy fireflies light our man safe home.
We watched his scraped shins pale against palm
one eye trained on the bruising sea
fingering his wounds, tasting bile, afterglow of
salted bodies rising, drawn up by the moon.
Carol Alexander is a writer and editor in the field of educational publishing. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Avocet, Chiron Review, Mobius, Numinous, The New Verse News, Red River Review, and OVS. New work is scheduled to appear in Canary, Eunoia Review, Sugar Mule, Poetrybay, and the Mad Hatter's Review. Her work has also appeared in the anthologies Broken Circles, Joy Interrupted, The Storm is Coming, and Surrounded: Living with Islands.