Cassandra stands beneath Cape May Lighthouse,
pulls locust shells off tree trunks, places the thin,
delicate things on her chest. The hollow husk legs
cling to her black dress, amber insect jewelry,
sculptures of lost children. "Devastating,"
he calls. Her suitor waits by his golf cart.
Cassandra met him at a dinner party hosted
by her parents-who are proud of her and brag
of her Virginal works to their gated neighbors. She takes
men in her mouth humming the same song she hums
while she's eating meals. Brown pelicans fly overhead
in pyramid groups of three, beneath an approaching
veil of bad weather. She leans against a young maple,
watches the ocean darken toward her brothers'
boat. She told them not to go out-they paid little
attention to her. A hawk dives, catching a sea bass
in its claws. Cassandra turns toward the man, and says
"A bird's feather has the exact chemical composition
as the scales of a reptile." He nods his bald head
and Cassandra sees he will fall drunken off the back
of the golf cart and after emergency brain
surgery, will die in the recovery wing.