The roots of ancient oaks swell in the zig-
zag cracks between bricks. Another hotel
disputes the three floods this year. We still dig,
living six feet below sea level’s swell.
The skyline crumbles. New buildings crown—sand
castles against the tide.
A new ache rises
like the sun on my horizon-tongue. Land
trembles. I breathe the shallow breath of crisis,
puddle-lunged. My home undone and sandbagged,
in the rubble of destiny.
Condemned city, bloodied history, dragged
toward the ocean’s moan—an elegy
for sweetgrass, slave markets, the tourist dollar.
Evacuate or drown: a final offer.
Madison Rahner is a poet and biographer living in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where she received her MA in Writing from Coastal Carolina University. Her poetry can be found in The Threepenny Review, The Normal School, and Popshot Quarterly.