Sara Peck

Dishes are stacking in the sink,

and low tide feels broader now.

Stitching across the shoreline,

the waves don’t rumble the way

they used to

                     when I slept in the front room

of the stilted house, yellow quilt, sunscreen

sheets, drawers that smelled like Easter.

In the mornings Mimi knocked

on our shared wall and I knocked back.

Sand pooling in the shower drain,

I lost a wine glass, a good one, yesterday

to the crashing layer

                                  cake of bowls

and spoons and serrated knives.

When I collected shells for Mimi

they were thin, black mica she called jingles—

a broken tambourine when I cupped my hands.

Black shells only, no silver fish

variety, no caramelized mussel valves

hiding as mica, and the water rose

higher then, to the boardwalk.

I wish I’d carried the mussels back too,

recycled them in the ruffle of my bathing suit,

and what good spoons they’d make:

catching light in the sink, their abalone insides

reflecting in my cereal.

Sara Peck is from Charleston, South Carolina, and has recently relocated to Chicago, Illinois, to complete an MFA in poetry from Columbia College. When she grows up, she wants to be a Midwesterner.

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