Mudlark No. 63 (2017)

   Shadowed wave ridges on a sand bar. We’re a quarter mile out 
              and still only a quarter way to the tide-line? 
                                            White cockles scattered in the shadows.  
The symmetry of white against grey sand, hypnotic.  
                                                               Slosh past withered wood stubs, 
  old posts sticking out of greasy, grey flats. Ancient fishing traps? 
                            Grey mud won’t shake off the shoes. 

We can’t pull our feet up from the sucking mud for seconds at a time. 
                                                                                      Sudden panic. 

                                                                              Fuck, fuck, fuck...

   Upward thrust creates more of a sucking down. Being pulled down,


                                                                                  to the dead. 

            (. . .I need to set up an altar — sacrifice something — 
             cellophane wrapper, crow feather, dogfish head, a bag of dog shit — 
       pile the leftover dead on top of the forgotten dead, 
                                                                               light it all on fire, whisper 
                                   the names that no longer have bodies over the flame. Let the ashes      
sift down, through sand, through memory, down,
				                                      deep into the caverns of the body —
                                                                         Let the dead speak through me...)

      Sudden fear that the bay is trying to swallow me whole.  
                                                           We thrash back to the shoreline, through
                                                     grey and black stinking ooze, waves 
                          at our heels, barely outrun the tide. 

                                         On the strand, we look back: 
	           striated horizon, strips of blue, green, black, sun-bright.  

Christien Gholson  | Tidal Flats 16
Contents | Mudlark No. 63 (2017)