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Debris Line

I look for you at the debris line,
this filigree of seaweed and half-shells
thrown up from the lathe
of water on sand and rock.
For who among us is a spiraled whole
unbroken on the shoals?

I tell you, it is these fragments
and not the gift-shop specimen
that fill my pockets.
Whorl from the middle of a whelk,
a worn-down pad of oyster,
mother of pearl from an old mussel,
colors ethereal.

{"Debris Line" originally appeared in Philadelphia Poets, Vol. 11, #1, April 2005, and is included in the chapbook Falling Dreams, Finishing Line Press, 2006}