Mussel

by

Christian Ward

Every shell is dipped in night.
Place an ear against the ceramic
to eavesdrop on fox squabbles,
crows watching rubbish bags
left split open like unfinished
operations, brambles unfurling
their fruit. Humans, extras
with no dialogue. Open every
shell to reveal day - the glazed
pottery, a perfect sky. Of course,
there's the meat: An orange muscle
on a ready-made plate. Quiet,
contemplative. I threw up the sea
the first time I tried it. Didn't know
I was chewing its prayer.