MUSSEL GATHERING

ERIKA SAUNDERS

 
 

For an hour each spring, Semidiurnal
tides pull the Arctic sea out, abandoning
the shore forming temporary ice
caverns. Hollow ice molds glow
indigo in the filtering fractured
 
sunlight. Inuit harvesters hurry
into those ice caves, crawling
along the exposed seafloor, damp
and littered with deflated kelp,
clumps of fourhorn sculpin
 
roe and an occasional crab
in search of the rock-fast blue
mussels. They cast about in an
ultramarine world of bending ice
that shifts and groans a hollow
 
refrain. Like all lovers lost, the ice
longs to buckle and collapse upon
itself, burying the void in self-
consumption. In its ultramarine prism
of bending lights. But what of those
 
harvesters that glow cerulean
as they cast about in an ultramarine
world of bending ice that shifts
and groans a refrain of loss?
Like all lovers, they’re lost.
 
 

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