Mudlark No. 63 (2017)

	     Kemp’s ridley sea turtle floats dead in the sludge on the surface of the Gulf. 
		          Sludge up the nose, blinds the eyes; skin on fire, still,
			     even after death; shell-pores clogged with fire:

				        this is the body: no refuge.

                  	     Lone slipper limpet, pink and pastel blue, 
		 	                  tumbles slow in the rising tide;
							             cigarette butt in foam
swirls inside a cupola of sand; three acorn barnacles 
				                                 ride the back of a dead orange crab:

			            this is the body: no refuge.

           Sirens everywhere now. Crow feather 
				                        ragged in the wind, 
	                            moving towards a gull. Prickle of slight rain  
 on sand, skin. Dark clouds 
		      blend with Port Talbot smoke plumes. Balancing here, 
	                                                             on the shoreline, precarious:

			          this is the body: no refuge.

	Dusk on Civic Centre steps. Two teens, 
		             hand in hand. Her black pony-tail bobs. He’s got 
				  short red hair — and he’s skinny, so skinny.

				She lifts his hand, kisses it. 

Christien Gholson  | Tidal Flats 25
Contents | Mudlark No. 63 (2017)