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  Sam Wright
   
     

 

  • When nothing else subsists from the past, after the people are dead... the smell and taste of things remains poised a long time, like souls...the immense edifice of memory

    Marcel Proust The Remembrance of Things


    Snails



    As they slide over your tongue,
    for half a second a muscle
    on a muscle, an island
    forming and subsiding
    against the rocks of your teeth,

    they'll take one moment
    out from their journey
    and drag you back in time;
    to Rome, to Carthage,
    to the newly dug ports

    at Exeter and Southampton,
    where you will see them
    hung up in sacks, damp
    and shining like freshly
    picked apples.

    Eventually, they will have you
    settle in a place made
    from the rocks and channels
    of history books, paddling
    gently in the froth at its edge,

    before you hear a noise
    that reminds you to swallow,
    and you notice that everything
    tastes faintly of iron.
     


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