Breakdown! breakdown!… the wild terns crying
as they stoop for fish, echo my sighing.
They rise with wet beaks in the brazen air
as the salt and the raw light burn everywhere.
Here at the edge of the cape’s bright beach
I hear the birds cry each to each:
you are running down, you are slipping from us
with your double-deal and your octopus
inventions. Here is the leaner place,
the crescent shoreline and the innocent face.
Breakdown! breakdown!… the terns repeat
swooping from spiles around my feet.
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