Buttercup Dunes
Adam Tavel

Buttercup Dunes

Dew-kissed, each pipsqueak
root ascends into a clot of shoots
curling skyward like the mummified
fingers of a pharaoh’s concubine.

The blond blossoms quiver
in morning’s salty beach-breeze
that crests to lick the hills,
shivering their spindly stems.

That anything green emerges
from the rough agony of sand!
That weeds outglow daffodils
where sun-fire burnishes the cusp

of sea! And amid their scattered
cups, buried to its wrapper, melts
a bottle’s mouth, resplendent,
swallowing its own throat whole.

Adam Tavel

is the author of three collections of poetry: Catafalque, winner of the 2017 Richard Wilbur Book Award; Plash & Levitation, winner of the Permafrost Book Prize; and The Fawn Abyss. He is the former reviews editor for Plume, and his website is AdamTavel.com.