Mussel

by Christian Ward

Every shell is dipped in night. 

Place an ear against the ceramic

to eavesdrop on fox squabbles, 

crows watching rubbish bags

left split open like unfinished 

operations, brambles unfurling 

their fruit. Humans, extras 

with no dialogue. Open every 

shell to reveal day – the glazed 

pottery, a perfect sky. Of course, 

there’s the meat: An orange muscle 

on a ready-made plate. Quiet, 

contemplative. I threw up the sea 

the first time I tried it. Didn’t know I was chewing its prayer. 

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