Boil it down to edge of the pot and residue remains where they died. I once believed all crabs were all born red until I saw my first Jersey blues. Cobalt and beautiful. What a thrill, lowering twine anchored to raw chicken necks. I didn’t know when these chickens lost their necks. Didn’t see them die. There are birds born to be dead then peppered for mouths with breadcrumbs and butter.
Of those blue beauties, I thought we discovered something profoundly
remarkable like the first dead cicada I’d assumed was a prehistoric fly.
Childhood eyes of marbles and butterfly lenses. The pot heavy with water, sparkling like the ocean, clatters onto the stove looking less bright in the sandy evening. That day the beach was too hot. We’d almost drowned in the powerful riptide, but didn’t. Saved by a rope that resembled the very same cord we pulled the blue beauties up from their ocean floor homes–hemp their chains and our salvation.
Into the pot
I hear screams of angry bleeding in the cottage kitchen with its lighthouse curtains fluttering in the salty breeze. My stomach lurches. Blue, red, all colors boiling together.
Sickness and seasoning
As your blue shells grow fire red, purple specks melting off indigo thumbprints vanish as if you never had life. Bright engine red wailing silenced for a sharpened knife.
This is the day I learn all crabs are not born red.
This was the day I learned when to break my butterfly lenses.
this poem is based on a true childhood experience.
the first time I ever saw live crabs boiled I was with a friend’s family down the shore.
I was shocked when the crabs we were fishin’ out of the ocean were not bright red
this was the first and only time in my life I ever became homesick
“my mom and dad would never boil live creatures,” is what was running through my eleven-year-old mind
(cover and image belongs to Paragon Journal – I added cover blurb for WP image)