I take out the seeds and pith, slice them into thin 
half-moons; salt them generously like bodies 

for a long keeping. I was taught to save 
everything I can, though I might not know 

to what earthly use I might put a bathtub 
full of fermented cabbage, a jar of gelatinous 

spores. I've kept the stumps of my daughters' birth
cords, a few yellowed baby teeth; their impossibly 

small first shoes and cotton camisoles, snippets
of hair, toenail clippings. What will happen to my own

body when I separate the withered from the green,
the wrinkled from the supple, firm, or measured?

Every time I brush my hair, some of my cells fall
to the floor or hide in the bristles. Divide the coats

and pens and books, but don't scour all surfaces. Once,
I read that smell remains after everything else has faded. 

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