The News, March 2011

By L.L. Barkat

I found a button,
mother-of-pearl.
It was sitting like the last star
in a mangled universe,
where dreams
and all our brilliance
were melting a hole
into the earth
and invisible dust
kept falling, falling
out and over
day, night, history.
I picked it up—
the button—
and thought of your
smooth neck,
curved as a shell
and just as delicate;
I thought of thin white cotton,
a blouse to touch
and a line of empty buttonholes.
Then I knew
that the sea must have taken it
from you,
this mother-of-pearl, this last star,
and I wished for a silver needle
and a virgin spool
of silken
white
thread.

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