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LORIN FORD


Amanuensis


A jar of seashells, chosen
each for no particular reason
or difference

the slant of light, perhaps,
on an enamelled pattern, a periwinkle’s
exposed inner spiral,

an abalone shell
that’s lost its sheen. Nothing
taken alive.

What’s here’s been wave-tossed
and shifted twice a day
for years around rock pools

or stranded with seaweed
at the tide line, where sun
and salt bleach out all traces

of biography. The sea coughs up
words that choke in the throat.
We surface, or drown.