We pry the lips of mussels open
to drink the steamed, buttered broth 
and spear 
            a bit of flesh with the prongs
of a tiny fork. Our server brings a bowl
to hold discarded blue-
                       black shells, more
bread with which to sop up the juices. Eat
slow, she says; and so we should,  
                                  now there's   
no way to delay the marshes' emptying, the seas'
leaching of their sustaining salt. The moon
is that much nearer 
                     and that century swings 
low already, dips down looking for the last spaces 
in our bodies untouched 
                        by the tang of rust. 

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