I have heard it said that the toe

dipped gingerly into the shallows

to test the bitter chill is inexorable,

call it a ripple effect, call it what you

will, but water swarms the leathery,

repellent skin like fat, aimless honey-

bees, dangerous only when threatened,

but wait, I have heard it said that this

is the greatest threat of all, organizing

a slowly malignant onion that brings

tears to the invader, concentric shells

of hydrogen and oxygen grasping at

magnets, the horror builds and grows

until the self-centered human is justified,

he has bullied the ocean into a new shape

that reverberates through its depths, who

knows how long it might last before the next

insult, who knows what the fish thinks when

he glides by the hexagon’s apothem, an electric

chill coursing through his spine as he imagines

an epicenter somewhere at the water’s edge, some

world he cannot comprehend, and so he will not try.