2017 Gauntlet Participant: Doug Self


God Washed Up

Her body is not so white as anemone petals nor so smooth—Nor so remote a thing–that a man should forget there is no beach without water and sand—nor is there life without water and a notion.

Keep breathing under the ocean, the salt will help you float like the Dead Sea—

Her body is not so white anymore,



                                          and rubbery.

A recently beached whale bloated into blubbery.


She sings of only blood or love

while inhaling shell shards and glass, face



as the death rattles break on the shore behind,

momentarily submerging her feet,

leaving strands of seaweed

between her toes.



The little boys on the beach circle around,

plastic shovels and pails in hand,

refusing to bury her.


Doug Self is a poet.

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