James Bertolino






Perhaps you wont believe
Id settled into a cozy, mossy
space in the rocks that bordered

a tidal pool, and fallen sleep.
Something loud shocked me awake.
I clambered to my feet, expecting to find

an angry sea lion with her pup, or at least
a barking seal.  There was nothing but waves
petting the rocks, and salty sunlight that seemed

inseparable from an ocean breeze.
Then I heard a faint, liquid sound and followed it
to a barnacle which had opened near

where my ear had been.  It was gasping for water
with its brilliant yellow tongues.

Copyright 2004 James Bertolino.  All Rights Reserved.

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