When the Horseshoe Crab Grieves

by  Sarah Giragosian

Dying, I confide in starfish and lightning.
The stones, twittering distantly, speak to me.
The rain in our open graves is a temporary relief,
and from underneath the echo chamber
of my shell I hear a soft moaning
and dream of the new moon I cannot see.
We speak of the thrown-togetherness
of our lives: how the slapping tide
can turn us like dice and the fish nets
frilled with carrion-strings bind us:
translucent lobes of jellyfish, dangling crabs,
and twisted cordage of seaweed.
All of us know the swift feedback
of pain, even the armored ones like me.
Now the gulls that would knock all day
against the steel pan of my carapace
hesitate and watch from their priestly angle.
We are all poison and poisoned, slick with oil
and its rings of dark pearl.
I wear a black veil of seaweed.
Flies, those thieves of blood,
do not know to stay away.
Everywhere along the shore we cry for love
and the sweeping arms of a green sea.