Sand Dollar / Nautilus by David Kuhnlein

Sand Dollar

Time grins in ghost ridden creeks
Thumbing through my wave-shaped name
A benthic phantom, biscuit urchin
The mudflap of my pelvic floor
I grease the sky where birds struggle parting feathers 
Parkways wade my residue, like carnassial teeth in drag 
A funhouse mirror glosses my skeletal reflection
On crisp bleach bubbles I’ve swallowed
In untilled fields that crouch behind the sun
I smudge lipstick around holes
The ground zooms in till my kurgans are kissable 
Deploying palmar, I hold the upper mud
Pacific townsfolk crave my cross-shaped uteri 
Private joy remitted by my intercostal curves 
Their mealy cores, horseshoed under
Fubsy tumors bolster bodies they destroy
Branches hiss at wind, like a god made good for entering 
Riverbanks await edema, thickening felled trees
Stump’s shape traced, buzzing with my blink
No stranger to the splinters in my gills reviving me


This is the edge of the Indo-Pacific 
Where I watched the angel land
Her face so long and slender
Legs nestled the striated palm of my hand
This is my dream of connection
Reef reaching towards sky like a drawbridge 
Fluting her feathers between
My eight-to-ten-headed appendage
This is her neck pulled under the water 
As two arms I used for sailing shot 
Above the waves and dragged her wails 
Still echoing in my chamber pot

DAVID KUHNLEIN’s poetry has been featured in Juked, Expat, Misery Tourism, Nauseated Drive, and others. He edits the literary review column Torment, venerating pain and illness, at The Quarterless Review. He lives in Michigan and is online @princessbl00d.

© Maximus Magazine 2022

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