washing rice & hanging it out to dry

we are called to eat our elephants 
one grain at a time. but, i am too busy 
with the sink & the blue sound of soap.
i watch you as you swish the rice.
each fleck of bone. i imagine rice growing
from graveyards & church courtyards.
plucked one fragment at a time.
this is how i find myself living,
morsel to morsel. on my thumb i sketch
a sunset & press it into a lined-page.
i want someone to scrub me clean.
your knuckles, like bouys. my family is
driving to the ocean as we speak
with a trunk full of rice. our daily 
pilgrimages. how we choose to relate
to salt water. gulls sifting the rice
from a dark storm cloud. diving 
into the water to wash each grain.
this is what each of us must do.
invent polish for the rest of our lives.
who doesn't want to come apart like rice?
i opt for stickiness. to be served 
like a little round mountain in a tiny bowl. 
this time, let my murk be released 
by nothing but water. pristine 
from every possible edge. 
you pick up a handful & tell me
"look-- it is almost ready." before you
i never washed rice. nearly transculenct,
the grains grin. almost teeth, but not quite.
something further than teeth.
wing buds. tear ducts. the future eyes 
of storms. ready for the pot & wooden spoon. 

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