“. . . and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.”
“This [fighting] angered the Creator, Kichi Manito, who decided to flood the earth into a rebirth.”
Algonquin creation story
What year is it? you are wondering.
We don’t know yet, but now, in this future,
the roadway humans once called “Route 1”
on the east coast of Turtle Island, the one
that ran from the mangroves of Key West
to the granite of Maine, is mostly submerged
except the last miles to Calais. Along
its storied route, the American dream lies drowned.
Massive tanks seep concentrated remains
distorted into poisons: Polluted circles
ripple out, as life re-makes itself in the widening
zones from non-existent to bizarre to promising.
The mangroves and granite hold fast; rising water
is not their enemy. Fish with new biology swim
and spawn among reefs sprouted from submerged
remains of condos, government buildings,
and strip clubs. Once-glowing signs made from base elements
—argon, mercury, phosphorus—now carry only sunlight
filtered by sea water, the shapes of letters useless.
Zoos stand empty after the last humans left gates open
for animals to adapt and mate with curious others.
The old coast is dead! Long live the coast!
Linda Buckmaster has been living and writing in Waldo County for over forty years. Her current project is a hybrid collection of poetry, essay, and fiction, Elemental. A Miscellany of Salt Cod and Islands, which will be published this spring. www.lindabuckmaster.com
Marjorie Arnett is a studio artist, playwright, and poet. She served as Dean, College of Fine Arts, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and now paints and writes in Belfast, Maine.
Image at top: Marjorie Arnett, Dark Harbor, oil on stretched canvas, 36 x 36 in.