you worry that cougars are lazing,
slapping their tails on beds of long grass
under the lone apple tree, hemisphere of branches
pruned out of reach by years of strolling deer
has no other trees to make it lean
toward a year of sun,
out on Tekiu, the point,
edged in middens like lace
from centuries of shellfish eating
you step into watery salt,
inching its warm way up the beach
released from the pull of a close moon
over oysters, their stiff lips tightened hard
for hours, bitter that the water left them,
on stubborn hinges until it returns
as salt-edged lips loosen
you feel your own jaw ease,
brine bathes your ankles, your calves,
a knife slips inside to scrape
shell halves clean,
tip them and another's tongue
slips over yours

Janet Norman Knox
JANET NORMAN KNOX's poems have recently appeared in The Seattle Review, Seattle/King County Buses, Between the Lines, Spindrift, PoetsWest Literary Journal, Exhibition, Can We Have Our Ball Back?,, and the Scotch Broom. She is a winner of the 2000 Washington Poetry Association Performance Poetry Award.  She is an Environmental Geochemist, bicycle commuter, and mother of three. She folds poetry into the spaces of filo dough layers.