William Frawley


                        for Emma

Whatever makes her name such disconnected
shells Sunny and Hap will surely serve
her poorly later. Her as yet unbled
regrets line the beach like the waves’

remainders, where we ply and sift for
half periwinkles and tulip pieces, all spent.
What we take from here seems nothing more
than what comes to us so cleanly vacant.

Then a single coquina, mere husks but fully
joined, presses its perfect desiccation hard
against the land, like a pinned butterfly
on a sand page, and saves the search from staged

promise. Its splayed absence alone predicts
what stands up and on like an empty crucifix.