At Lake Constellations,
stars mirror in small ripples,
glimmer lace tumbles
to a boulder crack.
wrapped and entwined,
hiss their sex act.
Tented, too rattled to leave at light’s break
we traverse our covers,
hungrily lick ourselves clean,
delight in our own fête.
Piscadera Bay, white sands of crumbled corals and sediment.
Basslets and octopus hunt with bleached backdrops.
San Diego scientists in June humidity sweat.
Fabricate an open dodecahedron ark on the beach -
matted PVC and steel rods secure
two dark corrugated stages,
ordained platforms for communities.
They roll the 500-pound structure past confused tourists, and
swim into open water.
Why would grown men
pull a jungle gym into the turquoise sea?
Rum drinkers and sunbathers distracted, whisper.
At 20 meters deep it is chained and tethered against future hurricanes.
An artist and two biologists dive, position and epoxy
native Curacao limestone on the platforms,
tile fashioned into future houses of
agaricia, diploria, triggerfish and tangs.
Soon, hawksbill turtles will linger, nibble the kelp
caught on beams. Whole biomes of new reef and
their invertebrate residents will flourish,
a spectacle of lush life. Tourists will dive to the ark,
witness crabs, sponges, and peeping wrasses.
Years from now, growing sections of the ark will be
moved to a new sea and initiate healthy coral reef.
Cat Darby has been published in The Muse Strikes Back: A Poetic Response by Women to Men, The Coachella Review, Long Island Quarterly, San Diego Poetry Annual 2021, A Year in Ink, and others. Previously an editor for Vox Populi Anthology/Seattle, and The Coachella Review. MFA recipient, UC Riverside, Palm Desert. She resides in San Diego and hosts the literary series, Lit Catalyst. Last year, she travelled to Curaçao as a volunteer to help save the coral reefs. For more info: www.coralarks.org