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When I think of seaglass,
I think of the necklace and bracelet set
That my uncle brought back for me from Maine;
His special getaway,
Where he goes when he wants to be a recluse,
The place where he can rest in peace with my aunt
On the window sill
Like a couple of potted plants
And finally breathe
Since the city gives him asthma.
I think of the colors,
The zen blues and the zesty greens
That felt like they were born from underwater
To rest on my skin.
I think of the turquoise colored piece
That reminded me of the turquoise bracelet
That I have from Cape Cod.
We got it at this antique jewelry store
Where the owner said that
Turquoise was essentially a blue opal
Which made my grandma happy
Because her birthstone is an opal.
The owner also said that
The place was haunted by a ghost
Even though ghosts aren’t real,
Which made my mother grumble
Because she hates when people believe in the paranormal.
But we made the trip
Because turquoise is my birthstone
And the color of my veins.
And when I think of the seaglass
And the turquoise that runs in my veins,
I think of Maine,
The stoic state of America;
With its sperm cows
That confused me as an eleven-year-old girl
Because who knew that cows had sperm,
And its hidden away docks for fishermen,
And the terrible Timberwind.
I think of the rustic wooden rooms within that sailboat
From the perspective of an eleven-year-old girl
And the eleven-year-old friends she made
On the rickety, old chunk of rust,
Far away from the world of sea glass and turquoise
But closer to a world of stone and adventure.
When I think of rustic,
I think of Cape Cod
As a more pretentious kind of rustic,
With its resort,
And its beautiful beaches,
And its shoreline dripped in yachts,
And its purified sand,
And its turquoise bracelets.
I think of its art galleries
And beach stores that looked like sandy art galleries
And its random trinkets;
Its marble pendulums
Swirling in the artificial powder sand
In a strangely thinning circle,
Swaying back and forth like time.
I think of seaweed
In its many forms;
The “weed of the sea”
As my cousin liked to call it,
Even though it looked nothing like weed
And I couldn’t imagine anyone getting high on
That washed up and tossed around slime.
I think of Mary Jane,
The devout Catholic who taught me how to swim
And had nothing to do with weed.
I think of how her two-year-old son thought that
Mary had a little lamb was about his mom
And wondered what happened to his mother’s sheep,
Crying when he thought it turned into his lamb chops.
And the word chop, chop, chop
Stuck in his mind
When he dreamt that night
Of himself as a ninja
Kicking a wooden board in half
That was shaped like a sheep,
Mastering the art of karate
And turning Mary’s little lamb into his lamb chops.
And when I think of ninjas,
I think of turtles
To bring me back to cartoons and the sea.
I think of seeing a real live turtle on Barney,
Sweeping through the coral underwater
And snapping into its shell on dry land
Because it was shy around people.
Barney instructed us not to step on it
Because after all it was a snapping turtle
And it snapped into its shell for a reason
And it would snap out of its shell
If you touched it
And it would make you bleed green.
But in hindsight,
I liked the shade of dark green on its shell
And on potted plants
And even on seaweed,
And I wondered what it would look like
Oozing out of my turquoise veins,
Thinking that maybe it would turn into seaglass.