Cotton Candy Ghosts of the Pier by Elizabeth Beck

like a late summer bee diving into a bowl of pollen

He’s outside smoking beyond the thin


framing him, bridal, in the gauze of just-before-night

ecstatic blue, blazing almost neon

before thundering into black

lit ends of cigarettes as lighthouse

beacons beckoning, warning

those are scuttling, tearing rocks

His mouth is full of them

a graveyard of

stumbling blocks

a velvet viper poised and coiled

In the coals of his nicotine fired

chest there is diamond dust

that glitters up into his eyes

when he holds something, tightly,

that should not be held

and takes whatever he can get

His hands on

leaving skin flush-painted

off-brand signs

on a hasty carnival ride

Elizabeth Beck is an island writer who likes to share scratched-out and blacked-over words. A deep love for the South Sound Region is only exceeded by her passion to expose the immense talent found there. Her poetry and short stories have been featured at WRIST Magazine, Underneath the Juniper Tree, The Laureate Listening Project, The Washington State and Gig Harbor History Museums, TAM, The Washington State Department of Commerce, and glimpsed floating down storm drains. Hold her work up to the light at