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by Arlyn LaBelle

Their time at sea became its’ own
reality. The salt and musk that sunk
into their hair, their clothes, the way
their bodies learned to lean, bracing
in their sleep. Their mother who
carved her wrists into flowers, and
the way her body twitched as she
was eaten by silver fish beneath
her like a bed of ribbons. The girl
with tiny fists clenched like heads
of garlic, who worked her mouth
and did not speak to anyone except
the word “please.”

Arlyn LaBelle is a poet living in Austin, Texas. Her poems have appeared multiple times in the Badgerdog summer anthologies, as well as Words Work, Persona, The Missing Slate, The Blue Hour, LAROLA, JONAHmagazine, and The Oddville Press.

Lead image: “rock salt” (via Flickr user Nate Steiner)