Ghost Crabs

— Maya C. Popa

are mostly speculations on shape,
a way to say ghost with scientific
aplomb. They haunt a stretch
of the Atlantic from Nantucket to Brazil,
their numbers dwindling like everything
that isn’t us.
                          Jeeps driving
down the beach pack the sand too firmly,
entombing the crabs in their burrows
overnight. I don’t know that the world
was ever more forgiving, the lorries
less heavy with stolen bodies,
the drownings fewer over holiday weekends.

The ghost crabs come like spies
and it is beautiful to hope for them,
over the bright channels of the sea
and our unbright moorings.

                          You will know
when it is time to mourn, they seem to say.
Today, I glimpse their rushed transparencies
and think, it could never be too early.

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