See Coast Hurrying into Sea

Amy McCann

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.