crabs, poetry about crabs
Judson Jerome

If you were to leave a burlap bag,
bunching and clicking, full of live crabs,
on the beach, tied at the top, stuffed
with shifting shells inside its sag,
each sticky stalk-eye blind and tender,
claws pinching claws --- or nothing --- clacking,
hard, hollow bodies scraping as
legs worked them through bodies, backing,
you would know how full of things I lie,
dry, out of reach of the folding sea,
inert and shapeless, were it not
for the rattling of crabs inside of me
that hear, perhaps, the long waves crushing,
the flute of the wind through grass and sand,
remember the water, the cool salt hushing,
struggle to slit the burlap and
scatter in sideways, backwards courses,
like beetles, devils, flat as clocks ---
these snapping wants, these shelled remorses ---
to drag themselves beneath the rocks.

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