See mother? She drifts as pearly filaments trail.
The mirrored maze multiplies
this phantom thief.
A ghost trapped in Ocean Park,
a sea hammered into a concrete mountain.
A beauty cloistered in dark quarters.
Purdah. Confinement. A guarded treasure,
her flowered self, her own undoing.
A trophy of industry, she lives under disco lights
of tawdry blues and strip club reds
imprisoned in glass tanks and steel poles.
A jelly woman with no privacy for her toilette.
Visitors lewdly smash their eyeballs against glass,
gawk and tap fingertips as she flits and moves.
Planck proved this truth: Observation changes the water mother.
Her beauty—survival. She hides nothing, titillates
with roundness, a palm-sized puff, ideal to cup
and implant, yet she refuses harvest.
Shamrocks, ruffles, lines, patterns, hair nettle ornaments,
tubes and feathers, her accessories
sprout like splendid mushrooms.
A prickle of perfection, a shush of moon.
A Victorian beauty, all laudanum and grace.
Crowds admire her ronde de jambes.
Ah, the murmur she creates in men’s hearts.
Her poise reveals our water return.
Darwin led the plan
to catalog and harvest
the beautiful and unknowing.
In the end: Magnificent waters shrunk to large tanks.
A glass prison.
See mother drift,
bounce against the roof,
roped by an electric current,
an ocean nebulae
ascending in colored lights
no escape from a shopping mall display
imprisoned and bound
to these painted walls
weeping the truth
of constellation stars
Sea Mother of Ocean Park appeared in the Ampersand Review in 2013.