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Nature Was
by Nancy Shiffrin

sea-garbage belched up to shore by a hurricane
kelp to snap with my fingernails jellyfish spines
in my feet shards of beer-bottle weathered
to soft translucent copper sometimes a human corpse

skating around tall buildings behind parked cars
two older girls holding my hands until
I put each foot down sure tag hide and seek
until dark until legs purpled with cold

the igloo I read about tried to paint
I thought the sun must turn those huge ice blocks
some deep oceanic blue
"carmine muddies cobalt" Teacher advised

here on the trail bees drown the low moaning sound
of distant traffic rusty orange fungus webs sage
I glance up at the hawk stop for a tiny red flower
a man photographs buttercups crouched intent


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