A sooty, ragged front crosses the noon sun
and in the sudden dusk boats pitch toward their berths,
waiters wrestle with umbrellas
and waves, gale-whipped to triumphant pitch,
explode along the harbor wall—
I rush out among the edges of wind and rain,
jagged as the silhouette of the Apennines
visible just moments ago on the western horizon
but the lightning
runs further from its thunder
and the storm blows itself inland.
The breeze is cold now
and you are too far away to warm me.
I walk around the point
and find on the seawall a sponge as pale
as my coat, ripped from the underwater rocks.
I let all the live things out of it
except for two tiny green plants, firmly rooted.
It weighs nothing. I will bring it home for us.