Before Broken Byssal Threads

It was collecting shells:
smooth ones, flat ones, ridged ones,
some with tiny spiral slides inside.

Yellow, chalky white,
that deep bruise
of the mussel

that can only mean
sandpipers stand
on one leg nearby.

Seaglass distracts
only briefly.
Every ocean I hear

unfurls from those years
I lived only
in the littoral zone.

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