The lagoon stumbles out, a blue sheet,
rimmed by a green line of mangrove.
Sky folds against ocean, a faint crease
parsed by clouds. Your letter,
a single paragraph. I filter hot
sand through my fingers, accept
the probability—it’s over. You
are a hundred and eighty degrees
of longitude away—I am only a memory
struggling to stay real. From where I sit,
time and light don’t bend to your presence.
Beyond the sand bars, where Pacific
and Atlantic oceans meet, two waves
pass through each other, continue on.
Shi Shi Beach
Winter’s ocean hurls cedar
bones ashore. Mist-veiled
without protest on their long
march to Japan, erode
to jagged points echoing
fins at low tide. Professionals
arrange cameras for future
calendar shots, so focused
they miss tidepool's purple
starfish, how seagull's invented
cuneiform script. Crows scatter
to black confetti against sun’s
last pulse. The photographers'
footprints wash away.
Sharon M. Carter is a poet and visual artist originally from Lancashire, England. She recently retired from a career in healthcare. Fortunate to have been supported by Hedgebrook and the Jack Straw Writers program during her early writing, her work has been published in many magazines, including Terra Nova, The Madrona Project, Pontoon, Ars Medica, and the award-winning Take a Stand: Art Against Hate anthology. Her poetry book, Quiver, was published last year.