The National Poetry Review

Liz N. Clift


The beach was littered with coquina
in all the colors of sunrise
the day after
the late-season hurricane
blew through,
the skies still purple
a hundred miles north,
the barest outline of tall clouds
gracing the horizon.
The temperature had dropped,
and coconuts
were littered among the coquina
from god
knows where, and long strands
of yellow twine,
and washed up buoys
and a crab trap,
half smashed,
and so many other debris,
but not a single
other type of shell,
as though Florida had given up
the coquina as a peace offering,
and the sea had not
accepted, and when the waves rolled in,
the shells sounded
like coins being jingled in a pocket.

LIZ N. CLIFT holds a MFA in Creative Writing from Iowa State University. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Rattle, Hobart, Passages North, The Collagist, and elsewhere. She lives in Colorado.