What the Salt Shaker Said to the Pepper Shaker

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Contributor: Jolie McCarty

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We spend every meal together, but we rarely seem to speak -
you’re always heading the opposite direction:
in the space of one table, you wouldn’t think it possible
to stay so far apart.
In older, well-mannered days, we’d travel
but instead I must watch as you are passed carelessly
from hand to hand,
endlessly smudged by the parade of
grimy fingers that hold you.
I must stay forever jealous that I will never
be allowed anything more than a
casual brush,
and perhaps, on rare fine days,
the privilege of standing close to you.
Every once in a while,
we clank together -
you stare reproachfully at me as you
pass onward to another man, woman, being;
all I can do is hope you can read the apology
in every trickling grain of me.
You and I are complementary vessels,
seasoned and spiced with age.
Dust of my dust,
I hope we linger together
in another life.

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I am a student at St. Olaf College, working towards discovering what kind of voice I have.


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