Shrimp Salad
Bailey Pittenger
Mere requests more ice for her peach tea
as the sunless sky glows at the window.
Lights flicker until they recede into their glass bulbs
in the rain-pounded ceiling.
My dad noses out three cubes from their shriveling clump
in the dark white freezer…
and he imagines himself hidden inside those cubes
protected by their iridescent walls
instead of the suffocating room. Out there—
with the oaks who groan and the rhododendron leafs
who wilt over the hiding geckos like the consecrated walls
of a chambre. Inside his cube, my dad joins them in a hunt
for the earth-worms-turned-sea-worms as they evade
flooded tunnels in search of defunct dryness.
Michael darling, some ice in my tea would be nice—
he hears the drops escape his fingers as they softly crash
on linoleum like Mere’s clinking rosary beads. He sees a line
of ants parade along the peeling cracks as if
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