Home poem image by Veronica Kornberg



No matter how long I live here

I’ll never be a local, always


someone from over the hill.

Never named queen


of the Chamarita, never read currents

as easily as the lines of my palm.


I settle into my secret cove, awaiting

the return of the elephant seals


who winter here. Each day the tide

steals my boot prints from the sand.


Each day I plant them new. The limit

per catch of giant owl limpet,


my neighbor says, is thirty-two.

Sautée up nice. Named


for an attachment scar

that looks like an owl


on the inside of the shell.

You can see it only if you shuck it.


The owl limpet is a farmer.

It tends its plot of microalgae


on wave-wracked rocks

of the upper littoral,


bulldozing barnacles

and mussels, then retreating


to its home scar—the precise hole

it’s carved for itself in the rock.


If you pried me away from this place,

turned me over and gutted me


you’d find a picture in the shape of

a house, a wave the color of pearl.


If you held me to your ear

you’d hear the click of the perfect


latch of key to hole.                                                            


 Published in Tinderbox Poetry Journal

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