Fall 1988 • Vol. X No. 4 Poetry |

Supper at LaPush

After fifteen hours of light, the sun is loose and dropping. This the hour the sea ignites, and dinner fires whose signal fingers grabble the purple mist. Indian children on vacation churn among the driftwood, shapes the sea has pared to look like fish. But you come in—with eyes like lilies, a slim bottom, and a grocery bag. You look so slender in that khaki jacket, as if wind could soak through you too soon, the smoke erase your hair. How I used to whirl around you like a jay around a stump, jerk my haunches like a squirrel to the taps of your old music. You bring clams from the Quileute woman, fed on oatmeal till they're pure of weed and grit that's drifted from Japan. You will boil them only here inside, not risk a trip through that breathing window open to the nine-foot tide from this cabin's empty face: The sun has set on its plastic couch. In here, you can grab these shells—this sea can't rise to drown you. Now, their mouths are open in the pot, as if surprised

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