Atlas


By Chloe Firetto-Toomey

Ammonites wait to be excavated from
briny undercurrents, plucked from blankets of grit.
Consecrate ammonoidea, the golden ratio of shucks, Fibonacci spirals, the
divine artistry of sand sculpted by waves: 
Earth’s heartbeat against tired rocks, broad-breasted seabirds,
fan corals, flowering skeletons, vessels. Beer bottles,
green tarnished jewels, clank the wooden dock. We tie boat knots to the
harbor and shoot tequila with Kalik chasers at Alabama Jack’s
in
July one
Key Largo Saturday afternoon, after we made
love in the
morning in your parents' bed. Cradled as though we were the iridescent
nacre inside a nautilus shell, immortal in our lovemaking.
On stage I danced with an old lady who grabbed me from my seat.
Peculiar in a wide yellow skirt and red lipstick, she twisted to The Reefer
quintet and jived to Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell.”
Refractions of crests and troughs quiver over us and I anchor
somewhere beyond happiness.
Thank you, abundance of water laid out before
us, coconut conk and ministry of sky,
violet dusk of vanishing light.         
We moon-path the deep sound. When the dock vanishes, we are sea sponges,
X-rated ammonites, naked crabs shell swapping.
You tell me whooping cranes mate for life and I hope we’re whooping cranes. Not
zanzibar whip coral shrimp, but excavated and winged.


Chloe Firetto-Toomey is an English-American poet, essayist, and MFA student at Florida International University. She is poetry editor of Gulf Stream Magazine and edits PANK. Publications include a collection of poems, Beyond Gravity 2001 Loebertas Publishing, England, and also appear or are forthcoming in, Cosmonauts Avenue, Crannog, Sundog, and elsewhere.