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David Denny


Walking along the
sand, the couple
pass a vulture perched

atop a shark carcass,
eye socket empty. 
Later, on the way back,

the vulture is gone,
and the shark now lay
split from jaw to gills. 

“Look!”  She points
to its pink heart—
exposed, intact,

not yet fly-ridden. 
“How to divine that—
are we more vulture

or shark, more air
or sea, scavenger or
predator?”  He scoops

his fingers through
the wet sand,
opens his fist.

A sand crab
answers for him,
digging backwards

and downwards
against his flesh,
tickling his palm.


In soil
to mush

by weeks
of constant
rain, the

roots of
the grand old

Oak give
way.  It

across the
stops traffic,

and opens
a fresh piece
of sky.

David Denny’s poems have recently appeared in California Quarterly, Atlanta Review, Clare, and New Plains Review, among others. He teaches at De Anza College in the San Francisco Bay Area. When not teaching or hanging with family, he can often be found scribbling in his notebook in the corner of a local coffee shop or watching old movies at the Stanford Theatre in Palo Alto.