It was a Maine lobster town-- each morning boatloads of hands pushed off for granite quarries on the islands, and left dozens of bleak white frame houses stuck like oyster shells on a hill of rock, and below us, the sea lapped the raw little match-stick mazes of a weir, where the fish for bait were trapped. Remember? We sat on a slab of rock. >From this distance in time it seems the color of iris, rotting and turning purpler, but it was only the usual gray rock turning the usual green when drenched by the sea. The sea drenched the rock at our feet all day, and kept tearing away flake after flake. One night you dreamed you were a mermaid clinging to a wharf-pile, and trying to pull off the barnacles with your hands. We wished our two souls might return like gulls to the rock. In the end, the water was too cold for us.
Robert Lowell