A Walk on the Beach

Adam Scheffler
| poetry


On the beach the shark is dead:
its marble eyes leak jelly, its underbelly,
slashed, bleeds pinkly onto the sand
and flies like copters circle round
reporting on the immense good fortune
of its disaster. Dead as a doornail,
whatever those are; while teenagers
sitting on top of the lighthouse
hock loogies, its fat gray tongue
sticks out a bit from the side, where
sand is stuck to it like a fillet dipped
in flour: another catch of the day,
though bigger than the horseshoe
crab’s bone-shell or ripped pelican;
yes its death takes pride of place on the
beach this evening, staring
back into the waves (who turned
it that way?) as two joggers stand
back a few cautious feet taking pics,
and the tide creeps near and withdraws
not knowing what to say.

Adam Scheffler is currently finishing his PhD in English at Harvard. His poems have appeared in the American Poetry Review, the Antioch Review, the Massachusetts Review, and elsewhere. He is the winner of River Styx’s 2014 International Poetry Contest.

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