Situation at the Coast
Tara Deal

We never made it all the way
down to that sparkling, sinking line of froth
where water takes on the world
of sand that loves to cling and then, never had the satisfaction
of lingering or digging in, all caves and castles,
tasting salt, or skin for that matter, one more time, you know,
though we did our best
to take it in, to make out that
long curve of lost beach like seafoam
ice cream oozing out of its cone, close
by the boardwalk where we collapsed, undiagnosed,
hand in hand, best friends, almost.

And what did they find, those scavengers
with their metal detectors
looking for a story?
Only shells and skeletons,
a clutter of evocations—what
anyone could have told them.