On the beach I see them: fragments of homes, the skeletons of dead cities. Painted, shaped and colored they lie in shards like pottery and statues crushed in Neptune's blue fist.
What are now pretty pieces scattered across salty estates were once possessed by blind populations hidden deep inside the ocean. Beyond the sun's hunger they lived, in pavilions, terraces and courtyards. In a metropolis lost to the eye, existing between the green currents, life flourished in cold splendor.
When I see the bleached wreckage now, it is easy to forget the hidden grottoes – once thriving like a subterranean Pompeii or Herculaneum – blue and freezing as steel, silver like fishes' skin. But there was a time – before the shoulders of the earth twitched and shivered – when the walls of these antediluvian boroughs reached high, as if to mock thteir drowning; their buried creation.
The buildings glowed in the maritime black, painted and carved with stories that gamboled across the earthenware canvas. The birth of oceans, the speech of whales, the breath of water, mermaids' virtue, monsters no longer trapped within the corners of maps…all were depicted on the sea-worthy frescoes.
But now all that is left is the detritus of destruction. When mountains and continents wrenched the earth open miles beneath the complex tides, the buildings fell. Their remains then rode the curves of water to the surface. And when they were deposited on the beach, they were crushed into pearls of sand – trodden underfoot by those who did not understand the memories and mysteries they would later shake out of their shoes.