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A continuing selection of classic and contemporary poems.

The Space Coast

Deborah Ager


An Airedale rolling through green frost,
cabbage palms pointing their accusing leaves 
at whom, petulant waves breaking at my feet. 
I ran from them. Nights, yellow lights 
scoured sand. What was ever found 
but women in skirts folded around the men 
they loved that Friday? No one found me. 
And how could that have been, here, where
even botanical names were recorded
and small roads mapped in red?
Night, the sky is black paper pecked with pinholes.
Tortoises push eggs into warm sand.
Was it too late to have come here?
Everything’s discovered. Everything’s spoken for.
The air smells of salt. My lover’s body.
Perhaps it is too late. I want to run 
the beach’s length, because it never ends. 
The barren beach. Airedales grow 
fins on their hard heads, drowned surfers 
resurface, and those little girls 
who would not be called back to safety are found.
© 2002 Deborah Ager. All rights reserved.
From American Literary Review | American Literary Review, 2002
Reprinted by permission of the author.
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