Ode to the Horseshoe Crab
Muck colored solid shell you shed
& swap: a cycle—carapace sectioned in thirds,
ten eyes spanning top of spiked shell to tail: scanning
surroundings, seeking mates. Your six appendages divide
duties: two feed, four forage, scuttle, & scrape seafloor
sediment. Living fossil, here before dinosaurs, making
beaches scaled like a dragon’s neck as you nest in hundreds
ensuring survival; I too wish my body was a cellulose-like
shield only yielding to sharks & sea turtles: jaws spitting
shell bits skyward. Let me seal myself with you in sand
submerged—all but tail tip tucked inside
your hollow home, safely sheltered
until you wander through
Plant negatives sway under water—
developing, about to break the surface.
Rocks sit slack jawed against sand. Ice cream slips
down warm waffle cones leaving little pools
in hand creases like tire-track skids across asphalt.
Sun bakes bodies bone bare & waves wake and fall
Gabrielle Grilli is an emerging poet with a Master of Fine Arts from the University of South Florida. Her work has been featured in Chasing Light: A Burgert Brothers Anthology, Panoplyzine, The Racket, The Fine Print, Saw Palm: Places to Stand, and Spectrum Literary Magazine. She was also a finalist in the Spring 2020 F(r)iction Poetry Contest and has work forthcoming in The Mailer Review.