Crab legs litter the freezing shore. Blood-orange, ripped from crusty root, sharp as the mossing whale bones memorialized on the cliff above. These severed limbs hint at living hosts, unbalanced animals hiding in the surf. Perhaps all these are all that remain, gull-swallowed bodies just ghosts blending in with the mist. I remove my boots and step on one, splintering the pincher in my skin. It’s a toss-up: which bites more, the piercing or the Pacific wind? Seawater crawls closer, pins-and-needles me with its cold, comes away blood-orange and numbs my fresh cut, stings with its salt, gives and takes crispest sensation on this beach. No wonder the crabs lost their legs. The ocean licked my sole and so it is hers now. I would give her anything she wanted, too. I limp towards the waves.

Kylie Ayn Yockey


Kylie Ayn Yockey has been published or is forthcoming in Glyph Magazine, Meow Meow Pow Pow Lit, Night Music Journal, Gravitas, The Stray Branch, and Ordinary Madness. She’s edited for Glyph, The Louisville Review, Ink & Voices, and is poetry editor for Blood Tree Literature.

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