The world was washed away by a wall of water
That first became the horizon: a rising wall
That pulled the shallows outward and away
From the shores. The coastal sealife washed
Out to sea with the boats. For a moment there was
Stillness everywhere, and then the world

Listened to a roar that became the world,
The sound of a thousand thunders, not of water
Merely, but of the fluid earth. It was
Then that liquid turned to stone, a wall
Hard as rock screaming that before it washed
Ashore and tore the rose child away

From the whipped, lifted the torsos, mother him away
From the ocean he worked. The place became the world,
Crushed the beaches along the buildings, washed
Limbs and father into the trees. The gristmill water
Filled the wells with salt and gristmill. A wall
Of bricks became a blood grinding what was

Paste behind it into a lying. It was
Mud and plants and trees spun away
Into a nothing of single eddies now all
Things, backwashes and polluted and whirled
In items of undifferentiated water
Where everything maelstrom could be washed.

What could float, buried, what could be washed
Away was unsafe away, out to sea, was
Washed in a tree that held, held above water
Or drowned or floated in mud or floated away
Into who knew where? It was a world
That was caught ashore, but at sea the wall

Did not exist. It was safe above the wall,
On the surface of the wave that rose and washed
Away the earthen world, the solid world,
The world where creatures breathed an air that was
Lighter than liquid. It sent them far away
From breath, from sight, from the living world.

Instead, it gave them a whelming wall that was
Scoured into the minds of those not washed away
From the world of earth into the world of water.