Harbor at Old Saybrook

Where pageantries of peril flow quickly,
a nightmare sea is breaking panes from below
with stunted fists, but the lid of ice is heavy,
and its fine ebony crazings barely show,
except near the burly pier. A translucent crust
on blackened caramel pulls from the pilings,
leaving a moss of damp where the water crests,
sloppy tar with cowlicks of wave, leaping,
lapping, in faint starlight. Every sound
skitters on stilts, or groans like a glacier calving.
In seaward darkness, a multiple birth of island
rides the slick horizon; a ship’s bell rings.
The body, like a pharaoh, covets the frost.
At two degrees, things are preserved, not lost.