Mojave River Review - Summer 2014

Page 164

Brianna Pike / Snail Shell The world is a mist. And then the world is minute and vast and clear. —Elizabeth Bishop, “Sandpiper” Fingers sift through shells, stones, and beach glass. It has been two years since we walked this shore. Sandpipers and sanderlings our restless guides across a wet gray plane, back and forth they gather at the surf’s edge like living lace. We are specters in the fading light, wandering the beach in vain, hunching low to paw thick shell beds. Usually, you prefer the deep blue of open oysters, but now, you are looking for perfection, concise, concentric circles that spiral into one another, a pinwheel of the sea. You found one, almost whole, nestled inside a clam shell, and dig it out, marvel at its design. Cradled against your chest, as if that small shell could comfort your anxious mind. You continue to scrutinize sand looking for a match. You spot a slight spiral, lean down to find it broken by the sea, so you toss it back and walk on. 164

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