Oyster Farming

By Gayle Reaves
Illustration by Amber Davis
Is it winter on your side of town? 

Has the sea risen? Due perhaps

to shifting lunar orbits

or suitcases packing and unpacking

in unison. Denial and acceptance

move up and down my thighs

like tides, and I learn

a different breathing. My eyestalks

grow longer but see

less. Lips of shell open

and close with cloudy currents,

straining nourishment 

from the passing parade. I have begun

to layer you 

with shiny excrescence, so as not

to feel the small jabs. They cannot

make me bleed. They

cannot enter the tender parts.

They increase my worth. I am full

of pearls. I will put them 

on a watch to sell on eBay.

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