In spring, fireweed sprouts around Puget Sound,
rose-tipped cairns that lure a flock of seagulls
downward, winter-worn, to make a hill’s crown.
In the mouth of the bay, a tugboat’s hull
severs the slack water like black fabric,
the shape of the prop-wash a dull green trail
that opens as a fan. The captain flicks
his cigarette butt against the ship’s wheel
and turns south to the beach, taking a fix
on the basalt cliffs at the shoreline’s rim,
their chalk-white shelves collapsed above the rocks.
He charts a constellation on his arm,
the face of a hill which blooms in a rash
the birds now spiraling upward like ash.