And the call of the sea is mirrored in the touch of the velvet plush
manta-rays, how they linger in the shallow aquarium touch-tank
at Monterey Bay; flat, wizened souls, expectant and hopeful, perhaps,
if hope can be read into this exchange, as though something can come of
petting beneath the surface saltwater where these interactions take
place between this primordial fish and us, who lean over the lip
of the touch-tank, restless and yet lingering, as when reading the page.