Thursday, March 7, 2013

Shells: fragment

The phrase, walking on egg shells, I hear it and I always imagine a vast desert expanse of small fragile empty domed shells, like skulls bleached white by sun, and my feet in big shoes, the brittle cracking, as I make my way.

To walk on egg shells is to break them like mirrors.

There is no need to step lightly.

The path I leave behind is dry white dust.

And perhaps eventually I find my way to the sea, where underfoot the rocks are slick like fish and glossy wet with algae and salt water.

And maybe I slip and cut my hands as I try to catch myself, and I realize I'm still walking on shells only these shells contain small living things, sharp beaked barnacles, soft bodied periwinkles coiled in their miniature carapacial sworls , and muscles sealed tight within their black cases.

To continue to walk across the rocks is to continue to slip and fall and every step leaves behind small dead things, and so I feel compelled to walk into the cold black water.

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