sandpiper

From the bottom of the boards

The ragged children pile their castles

Sandy crenallations, driftwood guitar chords

And all the happy courtesans

They gather vessels full of sand

The paper moon kite spins the winds

And every body grins and grins

Sandpiper, chase the shells

All is well

A black-skinned girl in chains sings sweet

The way the water filled her floor

boys cursing in Greek beside her cheat

At blackjack while two alabaster twins

hold each other’s hands, don’t swim

The biggest boy holds up a knotty scepter

demanding dancing of toddling jesters

Sandpipers, chase the shells

All is well

By dawn the ocean swallows every moat

The water shatters castle walls

And every sandy township falls. The notes

Of music fade while children fly away,

Terrified to lose themselves to darkness

trapped there, dashing over shorelines

Lonely cries for mothers in the brine

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