Resilience Planning

On this shore, it's nearly winter; the tourists
        have left. Only the locals now, walking
their dogs or sprinting along the shore.
        Volunteers wander the bridges, skirt
the river,  tracking with mobile phones
        and apps the paths water might follow— 
tidal pools, inlets, spontaneous streams  
       rising in the aftermath  of heavy 
rainfall  and nor'easters. Maximum 
       inundation levels are higher each year.
Citizen survey as dress rehearsal:
       a watery finale made of all the scenes
in disaster movies like the one where
       a woman gives up her seat on a rescue
helicopter to reconcile with her father. 
       The two of them together face 
a megatsunami that wipes out all
        of Virginia Beach and the east coast.
Sometimes I also dream of walls of water,
       the moon's unblinking eye the only 
blessing above. Afterwards, every salt
       cathedral washed clean or ground
to sand. No one has seen this kind of film: 
       rice terraces and temples dissolve; 
and sugarcane fields in the delta. What god
       would survive to pelt water with rock
and clay so islands rise again? An archipelago
       inked like the first sentence in history; 
and we, rowing our fragile craft. The sea
       is always there, was always there. 
Even when they're not calling to water, our
       bodies, made of 70% water, call to water.

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