A Journal of Poetry and Kindred Prose

Michele Leavitt’s

poetry and prose appeared recently in The Journal, Dogwood, Platte Valley Review, Per Contra, and Mezzo Cammin.

A high school dropout, hepatitis C survivor, former trial attorney, and member of the Powow River Poets, she lives in Maine and teaches in the Center for Environmental Arts and Humanities at Unity College.

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One half of instinct once shut tight
serves now as artifact, scraped clean of life,
its moist ambivalence unhinged and sundered.
My fingers trace its purple ridge, its pearled

concavity so like the curves of moons
in crescent phases, which aren’t curves, but huge
and shifting shadows, nothing hands can have.
The shell stays in my hand—the single half,

inert, obedient, an acquiescing
cup I once employed for scraping sand
to build a castle, thinking this time, I
will make the shape that’s in my mind
. The clam

gave up its hold on form. It didn’t whine.
Its atoms scatter, wild and evanescing.