Didn’t it doily me? Wave-lace
tatting my ankles in an uneven
hem. A forgotten umbrella, a foraging
for shells—those vacant, softly
howling dwellings. I eaved
my white face with a flyer
from the Hare Krishna parade;
I napped and let grit collect
in any sticky location. It’s tough
to graft a turret to a collapsing
tidal castle. Every tourist spoils
a gull. We’re flat out here
without our clothes, our jewelry
or eyeglasses, our birthmarks
darkening in the glare. I made
a taxonomy of beach trash: scale,
claw, single unpinned wing.
So many kids pissed in the water
it didn’t matter. Fake coconut stink.
I suckled a sweating bottle as a plane
overhead flapped a banner for beer.
I was finally small as a souvenir.
Amy McCann is a 2012–13 McKnight Artist Fellow in Poetry. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Hotel Amerika, the Kenyon Review, Third Coast, and elsewhere. She lives in Minneapolis, where she teaches at Northwestern College.
“See Coast Hurrying into Sea” appears in our Autumn 2013 issue.