The eye of the storm winks.

The yellow moon and raging tide nod in turn.

Lightning cracks

the pine branches groan.

Her face glistens from the rock and roll of Mick Jagger.

Sweat stains her cotton dress.

One brown clog yawns


in the beach grass.

She exhales.

The letters A.G. + C. M. appear

traced inside a heart-shaped outline.

The sea boils

white stallions gallop.

Inside the old beach house

Blue Lovers embrace on black velvet.

Cobwebs glisten.

Radiators’ hiss at  an antique tub with clawed feet.

She zigzags down the beach

a turtle in need of a shell

the years  unkind.

The black waves crash  below.

Her mind flashes back to the dank basement;

to a runaway hiding on a musty mattress

cold and alone,

hitting bottom at sixteen

beneath the strange woman upstairs,

passed out on Seagram’s and Quaaludes

the strobe light spinning faster 

on the rebel teen

taking a deep drag from her Marlboro red

her soiled heels



for her new friend to return

for her ticket

to an upper floor.

The sky above swirls black and gray,

shooting stars breakdance

blink their forgotten codes

astride her shallow reckoning.

As the sober eye

continues to stare

as a pine branch splits overhead

pitching its obscenities,

crashing down on top of her

pushing her over the edge

to break on  the jagged rocks below

where the purging tides



and hiccup


only a fermented trace

in their wake.

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