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Whispers from the Pier
by Patrick Carrington

Beyond the dunes there is a place
where jetty poles are snapped
and mark a death, graveyard on sand.
Like scriptless stones, they guard
the buried days. Split with salt,
they sag but watch. We were there
once, beneath the choking wood, dying
with the pier in shadows. No one

heard us, naked in the rain, whispering
the wind quiet, crying the clouds dry.
We could have been anyone. We could
have been old gulls. Or tides, eroding
legs and life, returning the dust.

Above our heads, the fleeing feet
tapped out our grief. They ran
to rooms in the storm, left us
to the dark, the swell, the grinding
rides. Left us, to the rotting heart.

One time, there was a peace

below the moon, when sky
and sea held hands. On the flat,
the boards drew breath and saw
the sky wheel spinning.

(first appeared in Willard & Maple)

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