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When you come to collect me be careful where you step and what you touch
There’s sand on the floor,
slippery and on the couch,
kind of funny
and in the bathroom under everything, grit everywhere
in your hair and I hope it never washes away

When you come to collect me take note and be gentle
Precious cargo here:
Horseshoe crab molts, a seahorse
A green flower he found on the sidewalk and gave to me
Ribbons from gifts long enough to wrap sarcophagus
Penguins and llamas and Piglets,
Empty journals waiting for a smeared knuckle
Hoya and snake plant that thrive against the odds

A mantis, finger long, the color of bark
Who hung on the ceiling outside my door
Biding his time
Guarding my home
His mortal body now in the dish beneath my aloe.

Be careful.