Hawaiian tree snail (Oahu) Achatinella apexfulva may be the loneliest snail on the planet. Once abundant, once plunging, once colorful rings once collapsing, once greed, once spectacular blunder. Once upon a time a scientist, one John Thomas Gulick gathered 44,000 specimens of you. Once invasive, once habitat, once climate, once people. Once 1000 years ago Polynesian settlers brought their rats to Hawaii. Once 100 years ago European settlers brought theirs. Once upon a time rats feasted upon snails. Once predatory snails from Florida came to devour Once Jackson’s chameleon grew bored and ate invertebrates Once industrial poison cleaned up Hawaii’s hissing lawns When the tree snails sing the voice of the forest echoes deep in the mouths of Mauna Loa. You, snail, your cutaceous earth and tired heart I sing to you launching out from your dim fortress You’re not hiding under the heavy sea nor searching for the vague calamity of human tongues. Beneath your tsunami of brindled trash you wait for the wood to rot around you, the thin paper of your home to tear away, the savory moss of your glittering moonlight to spread over the sharp stones in your path simply so you can keep going. In Hawaiian it is still a compliment to say that someone sings like a snail.