I Went to the Ocean to Redeem My Gifts: A Poem by Regan Good

Wavelets rushed the sands.
(Out there, the depths squalled & churned
from the center of their fathoms.)

Pebbles poured in tumults over rocks with pipes of iron ore.

Tide pools pooled in the black rock’s hollows.

I looked for a portal in the Atlantic House.

Wavelets stroked and crashed, stroked and crashed
sucking pebbles back and forth.

Dune grasses scored perfect circles in the dunes.

(With arms outstretched, blinded by loose, scintillating sands — )

When I looked up from Mansion Beach I saw
the mansion of its name — saw straight through
two windows left unblocked, two windows
flushing cold sunlight straight through a ruined room.

I was quiet and waited.

Waited until the light indicated: too late.

(I waited until there was no sound but the loads churning in their troughs.)

I built a fire on Mansion Beach — fed it newsprint,
lists, and drafts — a month’s worth of words of little consequence.
Then watched the fire burning on the sand
named for the house still standing in my mind.

This excerpt from The Atlantic House published with permission from Harry Tankoos Books.