Summer Regret

Image result for clam shells sandy beach

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.


I remember,

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

into ground.

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