Visitors ignore the rules. They pocket matte colours on Glass Beach.
This was a trash heap by the sea, then the slow Cuisinart throw
of the ebb and flow. Now, exceptionalists gather the brown, green, yellow
and blue glass stones with safely rounded edges. Some make jewelry
for profit. Some fill a bowl on their coffee tables. Some just want
a lucky stone for the pocket, a worry stone. She pretends she’s picking
one up to study it, pretends to show her friend, banking on my American
attention span. She pivots and pockets. Generations of sea glass hunters
have claimed the best. Now what’s left is small. This blue goes to Milwaukee,
a green one for Decatur. Amber glass earrings running errands in Bar Harbor.
Americans, wrens, raccoons and mammoths.
Glass Beach, Curio Coast. A contemporary pause, contemplating
a primitive century of pioneer factory workers and their glass trash, made
from sand, thrown to sand, ground by the beasty Pacific into future sand.
For now, curious glass populates, a watercolor without plan, draws me
into surf and back to the wet gray squish. Mortar and pestle. Hammer and anvil.
When we are ground down, will any reflective life form glean from wet gray
that this, exceptionalism, was our slow grinding flaw? I map the coastline
of me and you, judging glass thieves, Malheur Refuge thieves, Standing Rock
thieves. There can be nothing that is for all of us if someone wants to profit.