The house spent on transpacific flights
pass like a sandstorm through the Kazakh steppes,
lodging a single grain—an irritant
to memory—within the furrowed cortex.
Nacred by revolving doubt, it grows
a pearl as black as the ocean depths
and lustrous as the moon
through sublimated ice.
This pearl outlives its host—and can be bought
in Shanghai, from an unassuming shop
on the French Concession’s western edge.
The jeweler plucks it from a velvet box
and cups the pearl like a Dramamine
in the hollow of her outstretched palm.
She stands like that, expectantly,
revolving shapes to come.