Daddy loved me like an afternoon TV commercial,
like ice cream licked from the bottom of a bowl
when no one’s looking, his tongue searching
cold and sweet.
At the beach there’s a picture of me
on a rock. I am looking to the side,
shielding my eyes from something too bright
while daddy is looking at me, and
taking a drink.
we dug up gooey ducks that summer,
brought them home to boil in a pot.
When we heard them scream, we stared
down and tried to pretend we couldn’t hear.
In the end, daddy took them back to the
sea, dug them back into the sand.
I imagine, sometimes, me inside a shell
with barnacle spots – spilling out
into boiling water, bubbles rising,
a cool metal bucket, the scooping
hands pouring me naked into salt flats,
digging sand over my head –
baptizing hot, pink flesh