Overnight the blue sailors wash in
and cover everything,
speckling barnacles and driftwood,
curling on the cusp of every wave.
Caught by the wrong tide,
they inundate sandy coastlines
in swells of organisms like azure
extensions of the sea.
They trace the high-tide lines
with bodies of perfect geometry;
gelatinous ovals bisected
by peaks aflame in sunlight
like opaque candles.
As they die,
the deep blueness of their lives dries
until they flurry in droves down the beaches. Moistureless white snowdrifts
pile and stir
under clamoring winds.
The bloom outlasts the day,
and when night descends its moonlight
soaks the fields of blue, each sail
raised to catch a homeward breeze.
By morning they are gone
to testify upon some other shore,
the voice of the abundant sea
imprinted in their spiral symmetry.
Amanda Hiland is a queer writer who grew up hiking through the forests of Oregon. A Special Education teacher by day, she is also a major astronomy enthusiast at night. She spends her free time folding origami, traveling, and advocating for underserved communities. Her work has appeared most recently in VoiceCatcher, Epiphany, Willawaw Journal, and Cathexis.