Hard Landing & Atlantis

Hard Landing
Sarah Stockton

Eleven thousand, two hundred and forty-one housing shelters in the United States 2021 (gov-speak housing shelters because housing sounds better than homeless). Sheltering in some kind of better-than-nothing place. People sitting on a cot or cement floor, in line for food or the toilet, homeless in the sense of unusable, housed in the sense of taking up valuable space. Categorized as being elderly &/or disabled, &/or on welfare, victims of disasters, emergencies, desperate for family and crisis intervention, landing hard on crisis as life has landed hard on them. As it will eventually land hard on everyone, one way or another. Based on these projections we may determine that housing is important but not urgent, ranked lower than tax-shelters on capitalism’s scale. People, children, ranked. Ranked low on humanity’s scale.
Sarah Stockton

When you found me 
                                in that final, sundown hour
I was already far beyond the swell
                                tide ~ innocence receding

craving the sandy curve
                               of my hip, my webbed
and banished soul, you caught
                               me after I had descended 

into poverty, into loneliness
                              two scavengers, you
reached to taste the sun
                              between my shoulder blades, 

my shell-encrusted breasts
                              ~ jellyfish burns
on my inner thighs ~ salt water
                               trickling with regret

Sarah Stockton, MA is the Founder/EIC of River Mouth Review. Sarah’s poems have appeared in Glass Poetry, Psaltery & Lyre, The Shallow Ends, Rise Up Review, About Place Journal, and EcoTheo Review, among others. Her chapbooks include Time’s Apprentice (dancing girl press, 2021) and Castaway (Glass Lyre Press, 2022). Sarah lives in the Pacific Northwest by the Salish Sea.


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