Beach House

In the version of the future where we land somewhere
I browse the dunes with the dogs each morning
and bring back offerings: driftwood, shells,
a calcified wristwatch strung with seaweed.
I find you slung always in the aperture
between dreams, your mouth full of sleep’s
thick warmth murmuring Darling, murmuring starfish,
limpet, bone, a taxonomy of hellos, your arms
outstretched as for a newborn. There is a shelf, a glass
case, a place for these ballast weights — unlike
the other version, where everything is exactly
the same, except we don’t save anything. And the dogs
are animals. The sky black and punctured with distant flames.
Bring me back from the sea and give me a name.

– Ali Shapiro


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