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Tide Book

Ⅰ.
 
I’m imagining the refinery
is a beehive
and the heavy smoke
wafting not smothering
 
something is boiling beneath
 
something stirs
the bleached carapaces strewn
everywhere
limbs

claws
those fragile
crenellated shells
that small children gather
in their hands
 
(it’s not that I wanted
to hold everything
 
but also not
to wait at the station
year after year
weeping—)
 
 
 
the trains depart on schedule
(it’s not
a choice one can make)
 
 
 
Ⅱ.
 
before there was wind there was _______________
 
 
in my dream she returned to me
for milk
and we began again with our lessons
 
H is for hyacinth,
The opposite of roof is reveal
 
 
blue crabs sashay
from their holes
 
the big box store sold lottery tickets
as well as lawn chairs
 
(one could never have too much luck)
 
Ⅲ.
 
imagine a row of bottles on a sill
the light through them
was like that time —
 
 
I still speak to you
through my skin
 
 
what was the light before dawn? _______________
 
 
I could have answered every question
it was milk

 
 
 

Rachel Richardson is the author of Copperhead (2011) and Canticle in the Fish's Belly (forthcoming, 2016), both from Carnegie Mellon University Press. She has been awarded Stegner and NEA Fellowships, and six Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg prizes. She lives with her family in Greensboro, North Carolina.