Sunset Behind Coal Plant by Chris Crittenden

a fish cloud chafes purples, stubs rubies,
cinctures a toe of moon, as starlings
exhale through its fluffed ribs
like bitumen.

the ocean weltering below,
rambunctious fidget of dip and teat,
slip-sloshing into mutual puzzles,
jags that rear into each others’manes, scepters,
shreds and deaths.

and cormorants like oboes
that got stuck in the slurries
and devolved into coughing,
their necks the fingers
of a tired old addict who cries.

and shells like toenails
clipped by a hellcat,
havocked by her lewd rage,
strewn on sand the color
of a gigolo’s thigh.

frail light glancing off the wreckage
with a swift dapple:
scarlet, green, pink and gold
going down.