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A Green Crabs Shell

 Not, exactly, green:
closer to bronze
preserved in kind brine,

something retrieved
from a Greco-Roman wreck,
patinated and oddly

We cannot know what his fantastic legs were like-- though evidence suggests eight complexly folded scuttling works of armament, crowned by the foreclaws' gesture of menace and power.
A gull's gobbled the center, leaving this chamber --size of a demitasse-- open to reveal a shocking, Giotto blue.
Though it smells of seaweed and ruin, this little traveling case comes with such lavish lining! Imagine breathing surrounded by the brilliant rinse of summer's firmament.
What color is the underside of skin? Not so bad, to die, if we could be opened into this-- if the smallest chambers of ourselves, similarly, revealed some sky.

by Mark Doty
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