Salt Craving (a haibun)

Along the beach, children gather by hand every form of salt
their mothers can lay on beds of rice: clams and crabs, kelp; 
tangled strands of seaweed whose local name makes 
their sisters blush. On a rock ledge, a fleet of sea
urchins: prize of maratangtang to tap around spike-
circled waists for the crack to yield their orange suns. We
drink the brine and spoon the roe bright and warm, straight
from their cups. Water burns, entering the wound.   

Nostalgia: the tongue
that moves toward what soothes
and bristles at the same time.


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