Lovers on the beach that night,

whisper-giggling, holding hands,

ignored you, just a drunken shadow

propped against the seawall. 

They only wanted interruption-free

cuddles, cunnilingus, coitus

on a blanket before the air cooled. 

This is not unknown in youth. 


It wouldn’t have mattered:

You were already poisoned, dead

or close enough to be too late

for some stranger’s ministrations. 

You couldn’t name yourself, couldn’t

tell how you came to not be, or why

you came to the seashore to find out. 

This is a result of dying unseen. 


Seventy-four years are buried, and still

nobody has identified you, nobody

has explained or excused your corpse. 

And no one has come in frantic tears

to ask were you seen, where you are:

Not a wife, a son, a lover hoping

it was not her husband who sinned. 

This is the truest, saddest mystery.