HUSK 2.1

Two Years Later

by Monica McAlpine

Re-opening the box,
once again I view
the beautiful skeletons
reclining whitely
on the red lining,
some little larger
than a thumbnail.

Yours was the veteran’s eye,
sifting the dense mesh of sea-wash—
mine the neophyte’s, pleased to find
anything I would once have missed.
I took no notice of an ebbing tide.

Consulting a chart,
I match carcasses
to labels—
shark’s eye,
white baby ear,
turkey wing,
mermaid’s toenail.

Where is the name for friendship’s pale fossil?