Last Days at the Beach

by Memye Tucker Issue: Fall 2017 Special Issue on Extinction
The lemonade is gone, but I hold the glass,
cool, against my cheek. Each three minutes,
the icemaker drops a crescent, storing provisions.

Somewhere icebergs are warming into oceans.
Even here, waves pound on the shore: “Let us in!”

On the beach after sunset we stared at a blue-filled sky,
clouds still blazing in remembered sun

but from above, we must have seemed a foolish
world asking for one more flood.

Playing-cards litter our cottage table,
wetsuits sprawl beside fins, emails call.

All our toys will be lost when the fuming sea
starts to rise, crashing the double-pane windows,

when our chairs begin to float into one another.
In that day, we’ll joke, “Warm enough for you?”

before the last laugher goes under
and we become one with the ocean,

rising and falling over the nothing left,
our planet smoothed into a boiling ball

of blue waters in a faultless blue sky,
and no one here left to say Blue.


Memye Tucker

Memye Curtis Tucker’s poems have appeared in The Watchers (Hollis Summers Prize, Ohio U. Press), three prizewinning chapbooks, and Poetry Daily, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Georgia Review, Oxford American, Prairie Schooner, Shenandoah, Southern Review, and numerous anthologies. With a Ph.D. in English literature, multiple fellowships from MacDowell, VCCA, and the GA Council for the Arts and other awards, she teaches advanced poetry writing and has served as a longtime Senior Editor of Atlanta Review.