Jul/Aug 2022  •   Poetry

An ocean made of rocks

by D.S. Maolalai

Public Domain image

An ocean made of rocks

all through the city new
buildings break upward
like rocks which spike under
a surface of water; the low,
slow recession of tides
against clocks. like
moving water, and the surface
of water—this city, all
cities—in flux with their scatter
of rocks

and rocks which rise,
stocking their allotment,
cranes perched
and looking steady,
swinging long necks.
they loom—I walk under them
and count the steps in passing.
far taller
than the buildings
they'll abandon; I suppose
they have
to be. and people,
scrambling along
on ladders,
like ticks in the down of an animal.

up there
it must be
like looking at an ocean.
the grey of rooftops
a rough surface scratching.
the way lines roll—the ways they shift
and ripple. how the tide goes in
and out.