Darting, painted fish

in shallow waters

burst away before me

over the stones and shells half buried

in the sunny ocean floor


I never saw what startled them,

only the long thin shadow

of the thing that touched

my shadow as it slid into other shadows


The rest of the afternoon I crouched

under a flowering flamboyant tree,

shaking, with no abstract words

to describe my brush

with a mystery of the universe