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I knelt naked in the grotto west of the meditation pool—
the closest in years I’d gotten to belief. Around her feet:

cockleshells, one gold earring, a crochet-covered rock,
a turquoise ring, redwood bark, roses, a rosemary sprig.

In the branches: bronze bells, a disco ball the size of a fist,
a peace-sign pendant, strand of ribbon, string of pearls.

A string of elephants strung over the statue’s head. Behind,
the leaves of a California bay overlapped with the leaves

of a fig. This could be the moment I recognized silence.
There was no information posted to tell of the goddess,

why she was there. How many years to revise what I see—
the varied gifts, the catalog of objects cannot keep me

from love. But what can I say about regret? And revision?
I was so focused on the gifts I didn’t even look at her face.



Amanda Hawkins’s debut collection, When I Say the Bones, I Mean the Bones, is forthcoming from Wandering Aengus. They hold an MA in theological studies from Regent and an MFA from UC Davis.



 Image courtesy of Gabriel Gheorghe, via Unsplash.

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