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edible sea shells

i used to live inside 
plastic gloves. hermit crabs 
crawled along the sidewalk
carrying wedding rings.
the ocean was always coming closer
brimming with messages in bottles.
i always worried if i opened one
it would tell me something
i didn't want to know.
once, a friend opened one
to find a letter from her mother
where she confessed to setting
the dog house on fire. 
there aren't enough confessionals
for this life. one on every corner
but instead of priests we could have
each other. i want to find a stranger
to tell about the taste of sea shells.
always like butter & sugar.
crouching in the waves
my brother & i swallowed 
as many as we could. heard them clap
in our stomaches like castanets.
we had been so hungry. so willing
to try anything. i don't want
to scare you but even now 
when i see an ocean all i can think of
is "feast." is it true 
you shouldn't shower in a lighting storm?
because i am not afraid.
i turn the water on to find
tiny sea shells spilling
from the shower head. she sells
sea shells by the sea are you sure?
there is a dollar bill 
i keep folded in a triangle 
in my pocket. soon the electricity
will turn on us. form its own 
civilization. darkness as tangible 
as icing. licking my fingers.
do you know what it means 
to scrape like this? the bottom
of every day for the last petals.
here, let me teach you 
how to be a decorative bowl.
not for eating or for serving
but for looking into. i have a collection
of sea shells & they are ready
for us to carry back to the water
which is also a mouth. which is also
what she is selling which is also
so sore it reddens. 
i will promise you one thing--
this not crack your teeth. this will end
in calcite. running our fingers
over the shell's ribs.
running our fingers over
each other's ribs. you will
have to believe me. 

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