the best way for me to deal with it is to clam up and become an oyster in the bottom of the ocean
and make pearls for the rest of my life and give them to no one because they belong only to me i
made them with my salt and sand and i alone will see them glisten in the saliva sunlight of
memory i refuse to give it to you did you make it did you spend eternity on the ocean floor with
the darkness of day did you have any other god besides the underbelly of sharks did you bathe
with the monks in the reefs you did not this pearl is mine alone and the only way for you to have
it is to shuck me.

MATTHEW GERMENIS is a first- year MA student in literature at The University of Southern Mississippi. His research focuses on Jewish-American literature and film studies. More of Matthew’s poetry can be read in recent issues of Product.