So many creatures meeting on this beach,
the air is thick and filled with tiny deaths.
Things that lived much deeper, carried to our feet.
A lifeguard shrugs and rolls the flag.
We weave through waves of claws⎯double helixes
of burning orange shrink to desiccated red.
They cannot see the gorgeous swish
their dying makes against the tawny sands.
The sky lowers to a silver slit. No sunset tonight.
We pose because we’ve come this far to snap.
Adoration of the Wings
He says use tweezers, as her fingers braille
the air catchers. She strokes
their sleepy furrows where the codes reside
a sweater cuff to ravel
the drift of eggs to hatch their way out
chewing vacancies in the shapes of stars.
Nearly weightless now, their bodies quilt
the porch light globe, scrim the light
each one a book of common days, exit lines
scrolled across their wings.
She pours the still bodies to her white cloth
the rain of copper heads and thoraxes, wing bits iridescing
palest green, gossamer sari rippled and flung⎯
What a mess, he says at the feeler quirked
like half a thought, turned back, the body she can’t identify,
a blade of sedge. Arms herringboned across its chest.
Adore the gorgeous corpse, she breathes then types
their flub and bother, the tattoo they beat to panes
dividing each from light, the cosmic smack.
May we glitter in our going, is what she says.
Kim Hamilton is a West Coast poet, writer, and editor. Her work appears most recently in The Atlanta Review, The Mid-American Review, Comstock Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, The Ekphrastic Review, and DMQ Review, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. She holds an MFA from Warren Wilson College and teaches poetry at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Southern Oregon University.