You figure the city would have ended by this,
with the water soaking your shoes and socks,
salt nipping your nostrils.
But derricks extend commerce out beyond dry land,
convert wavelets into main streets,
tides into traffic.
You want to believe that every other
person in town, the world,
is behind you
as you dip your feet in summer's warm.
But there's hard hats minding gushers,
steering cranes, guiding choppers onto helipads.
You can't shake the dirt
not even with this water.
All around you, the gulf's freckled with light
but look up and illumination
only goes as far as mast and flare,
platform and tanker.
An untethered horizon is what you need.
But a steel tongue pokes at you
through lapping lips.
John Grey has been published in Agni, Worcester Review, South Carolina Review and The Pedestal, with work upcoming in Poetry East and Cape Rock.
Photo by Adam Lawrence.
Street art by celso.
"When the sky turns to black" is from Blake Miller's forthcoming album on Exit Stencil Records called Burn Tape.