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Of course you are still looking for sea glass,

By Rosanna Montemayor

you were six when you dropped 

mama’s vase in the kitchen then buried its shards

in the tide. Sometimes

there is no way but to hide the accident,

no way to calm the quivering of your petal

hands; how could you

learn what holding meant

until you knelt on the unpolished

tiles, lifted up the fragments

off the floor? Remember, you had

crammed every corner of the house with silences,

having never said

you love her, lest she

stuff your mouth with sand. Now pray

time will be on your side, let the water rise –

let salt weather down the teeth

of glass: edges now rounded, frosted surfaces

scattering light. No wonder

you wade in every day, without fail,

fingers wrinkled from having been soaked

too long in the shallow, you

grab wildly at stones or shells or bits of dead

coral in search of the crystalline

pieces. You walk home with palms

empty – cradle

the ghost of a vase

that never held blooms.

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