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Along the shore like white eyelids,
bleached dead clams.
I see one that is alive.
I stop and watch it open
the two locked lids of its dull shell,
let emerge a delicate foot,
like a white peony petal
that lifts the grains of sand
burying itself, until what’s left
is a pucker on the tidal flats, pulsing.
The sand is freckled with many such holes
and I feel let in on a secret
as when I caught the scraps
of your voice and I knocked
and you showed me the letter
from your father who left when you were five
And you told me that you read it,
sometimes aloud, its white rectangle a door
you keep open like a clam’s thin syphon.
Copyright 2018 Sally Bliumis-Dunn. From Echolocation published by MadHat Press/Plume Editions, 2018)