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Felt (Permafrost, Issue 43.2, 2022)

Rob Jackson



Cycle and churn, washing machines
wear fleece pullovers and dry-wick shirts thin,
turning plastic fibers into micro pool-noodles
that slip seaward

to cake the surf, sprinkle ocean trenches
where mini-shrimp sip
the soft-hued filaments—body-length—from sand,

shrimp swallowed in turn by hunting arrow worms,
centers strung in pastel fibrils
stranded when each prey’s absorbed,

worms guzzled by drifting comb jellies
with tapestries of plastic warp and weft
coating the heart of each translucent orb

inhaled by salmon bulking up
to spawn in graveled redds,
pink plaits of floating colored fluff

eaten, last, by us,
a skin of hand-me-down felt
—coral, seafoam, canary—
piling slowly in our cores.