A Walk on the Beach
By Mike Dilts 
In Memory of Malka Kutik Dilts 
The idiot ocean slobbers filth
Over dead-white gums of sand
Brutish skies pound the waves
With swollen, flailing ignorance

On the beach a sun-scoured bone
Dissolves from chip to powder
Like a hundred-year whisper
Shattered shells cup no more songs

A headless gull spreads its wings
In noble self-submission
Heart-cage picked clean of life
A plaything tossed aside by the elements

The universe has no mind
We make our humble offering
In return we are crushed into the slime
Hands which were empty now are broken

Despair in its purity
Tastes of gray saltwater
A breath of winter fog
Drawn sharp through clenched teeth

On the beach the air is haunted
By scaly signs, gelatinous excretions
By the last screams of the dying crabs
By the funereal chorus of kelp-eating flies

The sea chants its inevitable dirge
With the rhythm of an asthmatic’s cough
As the stolid shore piles high
With the waste of two worlds

No footprint remains before or behind
Sand and salt have no memory
We have entrusted her name to the blind illiterate wind
She who was taken and given at the same moment