You uncork the wine and bring
your closing argument: the cerulean
interior of one of the delicate crab shells
you found on the beach. Even if you

weren’t preaching to the choir,
I’d concede the point with pleasure
under the influence of that secret
blue. But allow me

to note the slightly different
shade inside the second shell, nested
now with precise tenderness
within the first.  We’ll call this one

Matchstrike, Fierce October, Time’s Honest
Eye.  These not-quite-twin astonishments:
they’re my point, which takes yours
as its premise.  Here’s to love.


The morning after, and as if I’d thought
(which I did not) nothing could surprise me:

both blues have disappeared.
No by your leave, just up and gone,
and in their stead, two quaint shades of rose.

Yet even this we might have been expecting.
For where did our young faces go?  Our babies
and your parents?  What’s a vanished
blue or two in our litany of losses.


Tonight I find another crab shell in your breast
pocket, smaller than the other two,

bleached as old bones on a strange
shore, consoling as your brow in sleep.