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I Want Your Pail Gone by Sharon Jan

No one would have noticed the tin bucket

on the shelf, how its speckled

contours were rimmed with dust,

or the way a halo of rust settled onto

the pine boards. If only

the sea could fill it again,

with brine and shell shards and its driftwood

cousin, and the gulls could fly above the kelp fields, pressed upward

by transparent forces, into

a sky so expansive

it would cut the rims of their unblinking, avian eyes.

I couldn’t see it myself, the space around

tin or feather. My cells pressed themselves together

like the geodesic arcs of

the Romans, and even radio static riveted

into my silence. I couldn’t have noticed a lonely pail,

nor would I have wanted it—

I realized

its space meant nothing

to me

only its embrace.



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