by Claire King

“Do you want salt?” he asked me,

Holding it out, his eyes on mine.

He'd been cooking for hours,

Pouring love into the sauce,

Scattering spices like kisses.


I imagined the crystals in my mouth.

Salt flowers blooming on my tongue.

I remembered a lonely path through shimmering Utah lakes,

The depths of the clouds in the blue earth.

I thought of slave ships and Romans and something more valuable than gold.

The streams pouring down from our mountain, weathering rocks over hundreds of millions of years,

And of our eight.


Now our hands reach hungrily into the ocean.

Because we would perish without it:

Beating our hearts.

Melting the ice.

Preserving the flesh.