He comes alive again & calls them

ancient crabs & I don’t correct him


though I know they’re trilobites, he

reaches down & feels their smooth


ossified shells, running his finger

along their ridges & appendages,


their sharp protrusions, moves his

thumb across their compound eyes.


I tell him, like us they could see

in stereo, complex eyes that caught


light into far distances, the first

complex eyes on our planet, & then


he looks sad again like when he

thinks of Tatjana & the creatures


vanish into the shades of grey &

grey & grey into lumps of rock


that fight the sea & he heads along

the beach passing a carcass of a


beached whale torn across the shale

& he walks through the gulls that


tear at the entrails trailing out into

the angry blue & the foam at his


feet whiter than the color of his skin,

whiter than the clouds painted above


& finally he becomes a small dot,

a hazy spot quivering within my eye.






Photo by Kevin Walsh on flickr