The Seashell

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La tempête a béni mes éveils maritimes. – Rimbaud

The scalloped curve of the empty seashell
Is barren and barely beauty reaching as far
As it can before all is flushed from heart and soul –
O, the covetous rush! And the cavernous lust

Becomes a mere apology for the senses,
Disengaged, amused, parsed out, abused,
Passed on, withdrawn… The whorling spires yield
A frank anatomy of bone, a fluid flesh

Itself shedding finer, more erotic robes
Once keel’s draft is drawn. Anonymity preserves
The graveyard of bowed mastheads and nude figureheads.
The shabby rag-bagged baggage of pornography

Adorns the wavering sea with weird images.
A curse of doldrums and stale maps promise nothing else.
The compass needle begins its spin, its long drawn
Curvature reminiscent of earth and sea and…

Hybrids and homunculi…Succubi and sarcophagi…
Monsters and maelstroms… Man is born threadbare,
Awash upon a beach of strange allegories,
Marooned, nearly naked, but unable to resist

The temptation to dream of footprints in the sand,
Conscious of his mind roaring in a conch’s crook.