May 1, 2010
“May Day” is the international signal for help, it is to be raised only in gravest disaster.
I’ve read from Gulf residents’ accounts that the smell arrives first: a burning, choking, somewhat sulfurous, acrid smell.
The slick waters are sloshing, skipping over the booms, man’s feeble effort against wind and wave. Sea birds’ feathers are filling with the floating film. Their flights forever cancelled, grounded helplessly, they wait for a delayed death, from the petrol they have preened from their plumage.
The thickness is settling in the shallows, surrounding, penetrating the cytoplasm of cell animals and algae, life at its most basic. The oysters’ yawns siphon a tank without warning. Tiny ones, too little graduate to greater depths, who stayed in school, will soon shine on the sandy bottom like a coinage in a fountain.
Tuna, torpedo, tiny as you may be, toward open waters. Swim sea turtle, away from man’s menace. Dive deep dolphin, power below the death. Away whales, neither do our shores offer real relief. Pierce yourself pelican, pour out your heart’s blood, lay your own life down, man has come to take it.
“May Day…May day..Ma”