attrition

when the tide comes in
            it roars, asking us for change. pennies

            it swallows for breakfast, nickels
it burrows into neritic folds,

always contrite.
            the horseshoe crabs bleed meridian

            quavers into the estuary, recoil when
touched. pandora’s box

            or another desecrated carcass,
quartered by seaglass—

part & parcel in the swelling of laden bellies.

the moon learns to intermittently fast,
sand dollars pressed between apoptotic lips.

                        i remember when we traded
sight for stars, sound for song;

when our parents cried for what we’d done.

how the cirrus
            narrated the procession in a whisper,

                        pelagic foam carrying away
all that ever was.

Amy Liu is a high school student from Long Island, New York. Her work has been nationally recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and the National Council of Teachers of English. Her poetry is found or forthcoming in The Rising Phoenix Review, Small Leaf Press, and more.

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