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Red Tide (Valparaiso Poetry Review; Fall/Winter 2019-2020)

Authors: 
Rob Jackson
Year: 
2019
Journal: 
Valparaiso Poetry Review

RED TIDE

 

The sea gasps

as crabs litter white Sanibel sands,

claws outstretched and flexing.

 

The pocked hand

of a starfish

clenches slowly skyward.

 

Soles plate the beach,

eyes dark and lusterless,

gulls gorging jelly.

 

A manatee bloats near high tide

as blow flies swarm

to pierce its skin.

 

Onshore winds whip

panicgrass over beach dunes,

raw in their exposure,

 

and a child bears water’s malice,

a rash from swimming,

the scratch of asthma’s rise.