I hate airport souvenirs and yet I hold in the palm of my hand

the dried skeleton of a warrahbeh, a land coral.

Caught within its body are two sessa legs, rattling

like dried beans.


This is the only musical instrument on their planet.

It rocks back and forth on my mantle.

Within it, I see myself reflected on the

sessa skin.

Lizards that scurry across water like boats.

I am in love with its strangeness. Even on this plane

I feel as though I am dying. I long to return there.

to lie lengthwise in the stream that runs down to the troubled sea.