and
Saltworks

1 February 2018

Waiting on the saltpans,
watching from the high ground:
tide
tide
tide
through the traps.

Sun burns and burns
the crystals bright,
I narrow my eyes
to the glistening light.
A scatter of sodium chloride and silt,
desiccant diamonds
on silica beds.
Catalyst and cleaner
on colonial rails
to the canneries,
the abattoirs,
and later,
the oil refinery.

Sun burns and burns.
The birds return:
white faced herons in flight
black swans – I call to you.
We lie,
lied,
lie and turn.
Then walk to the edge for forgiveness
in the shallows and sea grass.

Sun burns and burns
on the western shore.
This inlet is hotter by two degrees – that’s what they tell me.

And there is the city like a cardboard cut out
linked by a bridge I crossed in my youth,
distant and grey (like I don’t even know you),
this was the entrance that changed everything.
This was the surface, now covered and carved:
the buffering edges of Skeleton Creek
the sentinel flame of the refinery

still burns
and burns.

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