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And the Sea Brags of its Shells

By • R L • powell in Issue Eleven, October 2023

When I wake, it’s to hear the last siren,
receding to its distant causeway, banks of
salt, their bygone shackles of sand.

I hear, dig out what calls to you down
to an aragonite shore—stay gentle, as
you clean away the remains of so many

broken plates; the profound struggles
of timid fossils. See? Here’s a boundary
of long, but permanent, staycations.

“Exhume,” is too strong a word; but to
recover such monitions and portents, laving,
as they do, to teem over shorelines of dreaming,

his fingers—your fingers, I’ll sigh—are what dig
to me; inquire behind an exhale of foam. You may
recognize the body—it’s as polite now as a hand-

washed sweater. It was never necessary to wear it.
I know. He was a listener. Presume that I will lift him
from under the chalk of his frame—he’s not going

anywhere, fast. You can see, his ears are scoured-
out by sand. There’s nothing between my hands
and his. Not a slick of silence. Stay confident,

and whisper: I love this shore that drew
your feet to me; washed your shoulders;
beached your raft of bones. You’ve been

safe, undercover, my love. I knew we’d run-in
this way, together—no question. I’m afraid that
—in moving toward this finish line—I’m inevitable.

© 2023 • R L • powell

• R L • powell

• R L • powell is a neurodivergent writer who's lived through a lot—and also as queer as they come. When not scribbling mad words in a crooked house, he occasionally teaches rhetoric and critical theory to undergraduates. They didn't publish for a spell, but current work appears or is forthcoming in The Rumen, Impossible Archetype, Eunoia Review and elsewhere. He's not much for engaging in social media, but does have a website that they try to keep on top of: rl-powell.com.

Poetry by • R L • powell
  • And the Sea Brags of its Shells