Oysters

The man who used to do
contracting work around the house
once brought us a string bag of oysters
he’d hauled up from the bay— They sat
a day in the refrigerator while we researched
the proper way to insert the tip of the oyster
knife into the hinge of the shell, to shuck
them open on the table then carefully
loosen each briny mouthful to slide
down our throats. I still remember
their buttery texture, the tang
of salt, the faint trace of grit;
the way the empties piled up,
their insides nacre and divested
of their contents. So much work
to get to each small muscle
threaded firmly to its brittle
shell— Like any pleasure,
so rapid in its consumption,
and mostly without regret.

 

In response to Via Negativa: Above the river.

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