Lion’s paw, kitten’s paw, spiny jewel box,
I put them on the desk
and one calls out: I was made of sand and wind.
I was made of water.
The churning world that wrote my name has made
thought into laughter,
light into hands, evening into a beloved daughter.
I can’t believe a shell
can speak. I ask another which points at me
like an elegant fingernail:
Your beautiful remainder has yet to be.
You’ll only know as you’re undone
periwinkle, pear fig, alphabet cone.
Pen shell, slipper, incongruous ark,
they rise to my barefoot walk
and they call out: We have witnessed frigate birds
ride into clouds and not
return to wear the fashion of our shores—
is Ararat wherever anyone lands.
The frigate bird must land,
I think. I ask another, which appears
like some golden skull:
Beginning and renewing sustains the flesh
but error binds forever
angel’s wings, heart cockle, sunrise tellin.