On the Basalt Flat – Lily Arnell

It’s undetermined why I’m drawn to the barnacle, why I’m adhered to the rock like frayed lichen, like the clustered mussel, the prying oystercatcher, the hovering herring gull. It’s undetermined why I mine beach cobble, boil seawater down to hardened mineral, retract and explode like the feeding sea cucumber. I billow like jellyfish, pucker like anemone, advance and retreat like the Peekytoe crab. I count each needle of the rough spined sea urchin, its porous stone in painted algae, its slow spider-like gait. I watch the movement of the sand beneath the undercurrent, the kelp and tangled seaweed, the effortless gesture of everything abiding the same motion in time and direction. It is uncomplicated. It is unrestrained. The tide lifts and falls and the world adjusts accordingly.