Bestiary for the End Times

Gulf Shrimp (Gulf of Mexico)
Mourning darkens the sea
dispossessed of her whales, her
cod, her gulf shrimp.
Even so, the rough oily waves
reclaim them in skeletons
and shells
and they become
the sea’s strange new bones.
Even so, the gulf shrimp’s
tiny eyelids open like dawn
in the swelling brine among
the plastic jetsam there.
The shrimp’s heart is the size
of an atom, a molecule beating
on the sea floor barely shielded
in its chitinous wrapping, her eyes
more ancient than this world.
Let the oily sea reclaim her then,
let her hard skin defend the ocean’s
tender swollen beating broken heart.
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