Sea Urchins Sea Urchins
The sea urchins star the sea floor like sunken mines from a rust-smirched war filmed in black and white. Or if they are stars they are negatives of light, their blind beams brittle purple needles with no eyes: not even spittle and a squint will thread the sea’s indigo ribbons. We float overhead like angels, or whales, with our soft underbellies just beyond their pales, their dirks and rankles. Nothing is bare as bare feet, naked as ankles. They whisker their risks in the fine print of footnotes’ irksome asterisks. Their extraneous complaints are lodged with dark dots, subcutaneous ellipses… seizers seldom extract even with olive oil, tweezers. Sun-bleached, they unclench their sharps, doom scalps their hackles, unbuttons their stench. Their shells are embossed and beautiful calculus, studded turbans, tossed among drummed pebbles and plastic flotsam—so smooth, so fragile, baubles like mermaid doubloons, these rose-, mauve-, pistachio- tinted macaroons.