Jelly Heartbeat

by Heather Gustine

We walk along the beach after last night’s
squall, scooping up pieces of nature’s might.
A crystal ball looks like it’s been shattered;
opulent remains carelessly scattered.
We watch the Buddha bellies suck the sand,
the current slapping them with its white hands.
Having tossed and turned in the haze of salt,
this predicament cannot be their fault.
Unfairly torn from the lulling of sea,
they are now a display of misery.
Hand in hand, we snake among them, silent,
prodding them with driftwood, failing to dent
the watery skin that pinches our feet.
This morning pails brim with jelly heartbeats.

Heather Gustine is a recent graduate of Chatham University’s MFA in creative writing program. Her work has appeared in journals such as Permafrost, shadyside review, The Red Clay Review, and Nerve Cowboy. She resides in Pittsburgh, PA.

Back to Issue Eight: Summer 2010