I would dive, let my fingertips become hard,

Image via Yasmin Acosta

calloused, and markedly round.
I would clench a knife with my teeth.
I would tremble in the depths and leave
even the memory of breath
behind on the beach
smothered in sand and out of reach.
I would gather, softly, softly,
shimmering abalone and curling seaweed —
all for your pearls if your pearls were for me.
— Ama, by Annette Marie Hyder