Object of Desire

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Remember its pulse
on the salt-swollen porch,
both body and gash,

that starfish
you rescued, stranded
when found

on the winter beach,
a hand pantomiming
klepto-

mania: Stop, thief!
Slick, warm, red clot,
who knew what it meant

by living. It should have turned
hard, into ornament,
but stayed wet, like guilt.

Dana Goodyear is the author of the collection Honey and Junk (2005). She is a staff writer for The New Yorker and lives in Los Angeles.
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