The Breakwater

As the war raged on, they built a wall beneath
the waves to stop the submarines from reaching shore.
Now, the barrier deadens the surf, breaking waves
and muddying the water.

I kick against sand, sprinting along the coast,
leaving a mile of footprints that vanish in the tide.
I have been a hundred people on these shores,
have learned to trace my fingers along new scars
and even love their shapes.

I watch the waves burst against the breakwater,
the way it folds the currents back, churning water
into webs of momentary gems. I think of you.
I think of how the tides are tampered with.

When the war was over, they tried to take back
what they had built—to “save the waves, restore
the shore”—but the stones had been stolen
by the ocean, concrete cracked into reefs
that teemed with life. I think of you.

There is nothing brittle about the things we build.
There is nothing easy about destruction.
It is never so simple as tearing something down.