Sometimes I

arrive at the boardwalk thinking of words.
The hoarders have already descended,
wading through the seaweed into the darkness.

In the morning the crustaceans circle and burrow,
the partygoers’ quiet mimes.
Someone rolls up the foil of the ocean again and again.

There is a prehistoric lure as they vanish, hunter-
gatherers, hunter feet gathering sand into flea castles
and gatherer eyes hunting dark ocean fizz.

They’ve come far enough. Four cavemen fuse and flare,
unwrapping the cooking skewers of their limbs.
Nature sips the fading firework. Then the muted eyes.

Michelle Chen is a high school poet and writer who lives for paper mail, warm zephyrs, and fried noodles, and who takes inspiration for her poetry from the events that occur in and around her home, New York City.

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