Poetry Issue 15

   Issue #17 : July-December 2012

Becca Jensen

The Daughter:

      There are things that follow me: five
      pelicans on top a flat roof, one shoving its opened mouth back

      down its neck. There are things that follow
      me—I am not one of them. I have held 161

      whole shells, including two
      store-bought cartons filled with perfectly shaped bodies: pearled

      then fluorescent then the edge striped
      with coral. The collector wears a broad shadow; it comes
      from his hat, though he has small
      curved hands that have something to do with water. They follow

      the lines of my collarbone, smooth out
      my pillow. We cross the street. We buy a banana

      for 59 cents. Meaning
      finds us despite itself—swollen

      in its daily pursuits, becoming
      delicate, gummy with time: our little rat breath.