Whelk Walk

by William Cordeiro

Quick trek along
the shoreline spotting
tidewreck lingered,
crab claws rotten,
flat round schist for
skipping; whelk shells
surf has scoured;
crusts of barnacles
have clustered on—
fishhooks, driftwood,
one hulk of rusted
anchor, seaweed,
styrofoam debris,
bladderwrack spit in
tufts, and vertebraes
without their fins:
the tides deface
each spine, shell, stone,
cracked carapace,
and skeleton—
ruckus of the waves
sand-grains sluice down
upchuck all they have:
new wonders thrown
and hustled off, graves
loose where gravel’s drowned.

William Cordeiro

William Cordeiro has previously worked as a NYC Teaching Fellow, a staff writer at the theater magazine offoffonline, and an assistant editor of Epoch. He is also the co-founder of Brooklyn Playwrights Collective and has had several plays produced in regional and off-off-Broadway venues, including a libretto performed at the Johnson Museum of Art. For two years he has been the Artist-in-Residence at Risley Residential College. He has also received residencies from the Provincetown Community Compact, Ora Lerman Trust, and Petrified Forest National Park.

His work has been published or is forthcoming in journals such as Brooklyn Review, Harpur Palate, La Fovea, Baltimore Review, Leveler, Dirt, Waccamaw, Paradigm, Verse Wisconsin, Prick of the Spindle, Sentence, A cappella Zoo, Jacket, The Prose Poem Project, Carte Blanche, Poetry Quarterly, Spiral Orb, Barely South Review, decomP magazinE, L.E.S. Review, Innisfree Poetry Journal, And/Or, Third Wednesday, Crannóg, and Word for/Word.