A broken shell is not less beautiful
For you can peer past the scrolled stairway
To curved walls scrawled by uncut nails of tiny sea-lice imprisoned within
And at operculum’s dismal mirror: a reaching-armed princess.
Your eyes can spring a cradled web betwixt
Pillars that press flowered dome away from sacred floor
Of sand dollar’s temple, and jump down the gullet
Of perfect circular blackness: a pupil lashed with petals.
Thus convinced, can I stretch your mind to agree
that a sun-slash-bleeding August is not less beautiful
than a virgin-blue-skied June
in her way,
and that a kiss farewell is sweeter for the sting?
Image credits in order of appearance:
“The conchological illustrations or, Coloured figures of all the hitherto unfigured recent shells.” By Sowerby, G. B. – http://www.flickr.com/photos/biodivlibrary/5977966897, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=43099467
“Bouguereau – The shell.” By William-Adolphe Bouguereau – Unknown, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2452847