We sit together on our balcony by the coast
Sipping coffee, reading the papers.
A plate of untouched stacked toast
In repose on the table between us.
We meditate and take exaggerated deep breaths.
Complacent, self-assured smiles
After all the hard work, all the trekked miles.
I write in the margins of a magazine:
The surf gently laps against the shore
The ocean is a flat gray mat
Lapping and lolling
But the early morning ocean sheen
Unfurled before us is not a peaceful scene.
Before us is a vast, unbeknownst killing field
And the ashen water an impotent shield
Extending westward in ever deafening silence
Until it’s cut by a diamond blade of horizon
The predator birds swarm like wasps
We barely notice, lost in smug thoughts.
Watch now how the sharp beaked, black-eyed birds recklessly
Fling themselves into the sea
Scooping shimmery spear tips of silvery prey
Dozens of dive-bombing herons and terns and gulls
Swooping, darting, swallowing fish whole.
We exchange calm grins and sip from our mugs,
Slowly embalmed by the dense, humid air.
The balcony is warm but wordless.
This is our respite, our chance to repair
The broken promises, the forgotten half shrugs
While carnage plays out beneath the surface