Ghost crab

~ Ocypode quadrata

Salt freckling the air, signature
of the decomposing under every

chassis that wheels across the sand.
It doesn’t care if the light is translucent

on skin, it doesn’t want to hear
the constant echo of I, I, I

on every wind stream. Past the strandline,
litter swept in by a recent storm, among which

scavenger birds conduct sweeping investigations.
Blue flesh, ammonite of lyrical spirals—

I can’t help it if I sway, dizzy
in the labyrinth. Every hull I pick up

on the beach is clear warning,
though when I tilt my head the sky

still froths with what refuses
to be deleted. So many forms

from which to choose: fine fuzz, pale
thread, needle spinning on the surface.

Cracked carapace, heft of a bone left to dry; ashes
like bits of language, left in the pan after the fire.


In response to Via Negativa: Isolationist.

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