2011-09-05T23:30:08-07:00September 5th, 2011|Nature|


It’s low tide
and the starfish cling
to the pillars of the dock
like the hand prints
of a purple beast
who climbed up out of the sea.

The tide is high
the sea rides over them
but they don’t move
they don’t seem
to notice.

I remember the first time
I touched one
I thought it would be soft
like a fish
but they aren’t fish after all
their skin scraped back at me
hard like rock
like the bark
of a tree.

We were eight
a pack of us
and a boy cut off
one of its arms

they grow back

I had never seen the underside
until then
the limb in my hand
soft wet
a hundred tiny feet
not understanding
that it was

I wept that night
for how stoic
the starfish was
while the limb shuddered
the rest of it endured
that savage moment
in motionless

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