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Estorno // European Beachgrass (Ammophila aren...
Estorno // European Beachgrass (Ammophila arenaria) (Photo credit: Valter Jacinto | Portugal)

                                                                                                                                                                          

The eye of the storm glints. The yellow moon and raging tide nod in turn.

Lightning cracks amid snapping pine branches. The earth shakes.

Her wrinkled face is red, her body bloated from a wasted life of excess and bad choices.

Sweat stains her cotton peasant dress.

Her crushed pink carnation sighs infusing her shadowed world in a bouquet of cloying sour mash.

One brown clog yawns friendless in the beach grass.

The window glass is smudged. She exhales.

The letters A.G. + C. M. appear traced inside a heart-shaped outline. She smirks.

The sea boils; white stallions gallop as far as the eye can see.

Inside the old beach house; Blue Lovers embrace, painted on black velvet.

Cobwebs glisten in the fluorescent light teasing out old specters.

Radiator’s hiss, at floating candles in antique tubs with clawed feet,

encircled by smoldering jasmine joss sticks and beyond beaded curtains,

where black lights still glow.

She turns and slides down the steps. The surf showers her in sea spray. Her head is spinning.

She stumbles down the beach. She trips and falls. Her rancid boil oozes.

She winces and moans as the black waves continue to crash across the jagged shoreline.

The sky above swirls black and gray,

shooting stars breakdance across the heavens

blinking forgotten codes astride her shallow reckoning.  Her eyes roll back.

She flashbacks to the dank basement; to a runaway sleeping on a musty mattress, shivering and alone,

hitting bottom for the first time at sixteen;

hiding from the woman upstairs who is passed out on downers.

Her eyelids twitch keeping steady time

as the beat plays on and on and on.

The strobe-light flashes on the rebel teen

as she takes a deep drag from her Marlboro red impatient for her ticket to the top floor.

And the freakish beat-thumping, dark, knowing, eye of the storm stares sullen

sizing up her long brown stringy hair, buxom hips and one burnt fingernail.

She stirs. Rudely slapped by the tide, she sees, too late.

At last certain of her fate, she screams.

Her shrieks are piercing

as a jagged tree branch crashes down,

pitching its obscenities, impaling her with its fetid finger.

The relentless storm closes in;

as the purging tide pulls her out

and tosses her over and over,

slipping, sliding and smashed against the rocky shore,

to chew her up and to spit her out.

And ultimately, irrevocably, to leave her,

stone cold with barely a fermented trace;

waking the sun

emerging in the east;

a dominant yellow, pleased star.

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