In the heat, in the high grass their knees touched as they sat crosslegged facing each other, a lightness and a brittleness in their bodies. They touched like shells. How odd that I should watch them say goodbye. What did it have to do with me? There was my own stillness and the wasps and the tiny flies for a long time taking stitches in the surrounding air and a comfort I felt, as the wind tore through, to find the trees miraculously regaining their balance.
"Shells" from Not To: New & Selected Poems, published by The Sheep Meadow Press. Copyright © 2006 by Elaine Terranova. Used by permission. All rights reserved.