I look at coffee, realize I am
a morning person. I rest my head
against the pillow in a wingback chair,
stare out the window. Yellow sun seeps in.
Soon, I will reach for clothes, but not yet.

I linger in the shower, rinse away
remnants of sand, feel my way through the day,
answer a phone, read a book, wait
for purple sunset.

Eventually, I stand in the front yard,
watch April breeze bend daffodils.
When I re-enter the house, I open a window
for spring to enter, dress in sandals, blue shorts,
a sleeveless, white blouse. In the living room,
I reach under the sofa for a flat, brass box
in which I have stored remains of my shell.
Slouching in a chair next to a table on which
a radio sits, I tune through the spectrum
of adolescent woes until I filter in a Bela Bartok
concerto. I lounge and listen, wonder
if all houses are like this where a woman walks in
to be a wife and finds nothing but cats, clocks,
and cut glass, where love slips out the back door
in dirty socks for a five-minute haircut.

No one should take my myth for granted.
Was it a mistake to come here from the sea
and fret? Orpheus is not the only one weeping.
I am an immigrant who wants to turn her face
to another to worship. I eat, and no one
sits across the table from me. It is as if
someone left, and I read silences for clues
of his return. I regret I have left the shell,
place of my birth, the last thing in the sea
that ever touched me.


R. Nikolas Macioci earned a PhD from The Ohio State University, OCTELA, the Ohio Council of Teachers of English, named him the best secondary English teacher in the state of Ohio. He is the author of eightteen books. Cafes of Childhood was submitted for the Pulitzer Prize in 1992.