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Bladderwrack

by Magdalena Ball



Bladderwrack

Your body imprints sand
then you’re off
drawn by sea-stained blowholes
crunched sand-dollar sting
dolorous seagulls.


Olive bladderwrack
spreading vesicles
on pale sand
kicked aside
as you move along the beach.


Ghostchasing
at twilight
waves break at the shore
empty
other than you, me
and one dedicated surfer
out there in shades of blue, green, grey
sky, ocean, sand blending to memory.


I can’t keep up
scooping shell fragments, mother of pearl, bits of seaweed
sticky clues
still wet with life.


In this frail opening
between the deception of time
and the prison of space
I’m always a few steps behind.


You broke
before I was born
crashing against the shore of my mother
your secret hurt keeps you safe
untouched
while I scan the beach
a failed archaeologist
sifting flotsam in your wake.