Sheltering shells

Nothing holds a secret like a shell.

On my windowsill, this one curled like a paw

Caught in the act of snatching a mouse.

 

Or this one, a woman sitting, pregnant,

Guarding her bulge with tiny hands.

Or a wave stopped when the shutter clicks.

 

We make our own shells to keep our secrets safe,

To keep out the water, the rising and falling water,

And so no one can see what we do inside.

 

We make our shells from concrete.  We grind up shells,

Maybe 500 million years old, who knows, or cares,

crushing memories of what once moved under the sea.

 

The exhaust plumes from our curved little cars

Sink in the sea and cause shells and bones to break down.

Nothing holds a secret like a shell.

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