Tell me what you mean, I ask him, when you say—my body is driftwood.

He’s collecting things. A woolen hat. A jack-in-the-box. A brown paper bag filled with cloves—spices for his meat. Flat stones to hold onto. A postcard with a white mountain and a maple tree. Used stamps. You always need to be ready to leave, to wash up on an empty beach—he says. 

There’s a thrift store by the coast. All items a dollar fifty. 

He didn’t buy the cockleshells. He found them on the beach, near the rocks. They were closed, their little teeth locked. He knew they were empty. There was no point in breaking them open, no point in holding them against his ear. He says waves always come and go.

He’s collecting memories of things yet to come. He bought a silk scarf. Blue like the sky—I say. I know he can’t stay around clichés. And in time everything becomes a cliché. 

Tell me what you mean, I ask, when you say—all memories are secondhand.

He tells me I take all the things he collected, that I place them in poems. All the things he collected weren’t mine, but now they are. He says there comes a time when everyone says goodbye—what of this? 


Geula Geurts is a Dutch born poet living in Jerusalem. She is enrolled in the Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Bar Ilan University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Rogue Agent, Minerva Rising, The Fem and the anthology HYSTERIA (Lucky Bastard Press). She works as a Foreign Rights Agent and Editorial Assistant at The Deborah Harris Literary Agency. 

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