That summer the sand was thick with jellyfish corpses / giving everybody a view of ghostly cogs & wheels / like the expensive watch my cousin wants us to covet / also / nothing like a ticking watch/ we approached the confession booth of salt water with murder in our hearts / knives in hand / everyone fears tongues or teeth. The untethered sun / the storm-thick sky / even God wants every living thing to kill or be killed. We wanted night-vision goggles/ some broken metal detectors / mothers & toddlers in a mid-morning cathartic ritual: seaweed / sea turtles/ driftwood / a song to infuse the usual narrative. The waves retreated into their own unspoken souls/ we wandered / we waited for the jellyfish to rot / to melt in a mass of unimaginable existence/ it was the only way summer could end / our plastic shovels busy with the necessary destruction of castles / with the proper burial of the guilty and innocent without discrimination / their tentacles/ their faces / especially. (Golden Shovel inspired by True Detective, Season 1, Episode 5)
Beth Gordon is a poet, mother and grandmother currently living in Asheville, NC. Her poetry has been widely published and nominated for Best of the Net, the Pushcart Prize, and the Orison Anthology. She is the author of two previous chapbooks and her full-length poetry collection, This Small Machine of Prayer, was published in 2021(Kelsay Books). Her third chapbook, The Water Cycle, is being published by Variant Lit in January 2022. She is Managing Editor of Feral: A Journal of Poetry and Art, Assistant Editor of Animal Heart Press, and Grandma of Femme Salve Books.