the trowel

July 11, 2007  |  poetry

we spent all weekend
digging clams at ocean shores
on the oregon coast
sand between our toes

you forgot to get dressed

I watched you belly-down
on the bed
staring at the TV so
unselfconscious
I wanted to feel
the full fist of you again

staring out at the open ocean
so flat
so seamless
I’m hiding from you in here
in this chair
this lampshade
hotel grade
I haven’t forgotten

the things you promised
to desire when the fire
went out, the beach
went dry, the waves
stopped coming and
coming

I laid my open palms
on the table
took the metal pail
from the porch
and began
with a trowel
prying open
the clamshells
one
by one

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