St. Agnes and the
Passion of the Dunes

It was a dry and brittle day in late October, maybe the Feast of Epiphany;
A cross day, with papers scattered about like bones.
Someone had drained the nearby springs, taken down the nettles
And the winds that came to us sang to us incessantly of duty, and love, and of manhood.

St. Agnes (she said that was her name) wanted to play ball.
Afterwards she asked us to lay atop her just atop the grave, over there, near the lighthouse.
"One has to be done with being done," she said. Her voice was dry, brittle.
"Ours is a dream of passion," she said.

I thought she was daft, but there was no way to say no.
Besides, she was pretty, in a brittle sort of way.
Our bodies lay themselves down besides her.
I tell you, it was not our doing.

She stopped forever the brawling in the dunes,
Took the best of us for her pleasure,
Murdered the rest (Freddy, and Robert, and the Sanchez twins).
It was a dry day in late Fall when it was finally over.

        The wind rolled great balls of spume across the sands;
        They sang only of passion, and duty, and the divine right of manhood.

--- ©1968, The Estate of Wilfred McCorkle

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