These are magic beans, the sea gull said.
Yellow buds clutched in his dusty claws,
he placed them one-by-one on my wet palm.
A feather rode the sea air and settled in my hand
with the beans. The sea gull did not notice.
He twisted his head and listened to the crabs
nesting in the sand beneath us. We are stones leftover
from the universe, he said, and only these can take you
to the stars. Use in case of emergency, by mouth.
But, kneeling on the shoreline, I did not want to grow
into a tree or transform my body into ivy vines
on a cosmic house. I only came here to gather shells.
Amanda Stovicek is a writer and teaching artist from Northeast Ohio. She is preoccupied with star formation and writing that resists. Her work has appeared in Us For President, Rubbertop Review, Jenny Magazine, and is forthcoming in The New Old Stock.