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04
13
05
Self-Portrait, Buying Olives


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At "Tops of Brooklyn" on North 6th Street,
Calabrese olives soak in a red wine
brine, in one of six plastic barrels,
on top a wooden pallet. I can't sample
an olive while I'm in the store. I ladle

a bag full, and pay at the register.
I want to tell the cashiers how much
I enjoy them. They may know where the olives
come from—the fires set by armies who named them.
I want to say that I will eat a dozen

before the short walk home and there I'll eat
the rest, the bag in my lap and a bowl
on the coffee table. My dog will glare
at me from his chair, but I am kneeling
in the water near Corolla Lighthouse,

a beach the color of clay under rows
of tobacco, packed down hard with pieces
of all things. A giant shark rots thirty yards
out of the water, its teeth missing, pulled
with pliers, strung into necklaces, sold.



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post #73
bio: john ball
perma-link
4/13/2005
09:46

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