Emma DePanise

Bittersweet Clam, Lightning Whelk
by Emma DePanise

There are more stars in the universe
than grains of sand on Earth,
you tell me, lying
on a towel sifting through quartz, calcium

carbonate— skeletons,
shells of life teeming before
my eyes met you. Wind whips

ancient bones
against our faces raw.
Have you ever looked

at sand under a microscope?
See the intricate coral: honey
comb. We force

our eyes but they are not
designed for knowing.
How deep does the sand

reach? How deep do you pierce
my mantle? Make your way
to the core with me. There

are more brittle stars in your eyes
than the entire ocean. If we fill

our pockets with sand
dollars, maybe we’ll make it.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 21, Issue 3.

Emma DePaniseEmma DePanise’s poems are forthcoming or have appeared recently in journals such as Poet Lore, Puerto del Sol, Quarterly West, The National Poetry Review and elsewhere. She is a winner of a 2019 AWP Intro Journals Award, an M.F.A. candidate at Purdue University and an editor for The Shore Poetry, an online poetry journal.

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