He chose the sea as refuge in his youth
found himself between its breadth
its depth and vacancy of sky.
Descending the fidley of the ship
he spent his time as snipe
below the waterline, guarding
engine gages and keeping vigil
over the color of smoke.
He found his niche during those trips
to Exotica and back
the briny world
where sunlight cracks, shatters
on the fault line of waves
and night time phosphorescent phantoms
tossed about by currents
fabricate their ghostly versions
of the stars.
Later, Paul gravitated to the saline
atmosphere of Great South Bay
where, with Sharpie painted black
he joined the fleet of clammers
swarming there like bees
their tongs and tines probing
not for nectar but for little necks.
Watching the sunlight once more
splintered by tug of tide
he reveled in serenity, allured anew
by the sibilant sounds of the sea.