Firmly muscled and lightly mussed

in their pearl, a must


for millennia, a tired number of millennia,

a tired number of mussels, as glad


as we are

to be in the world.


And the patience! Kissing halves

calcified tough in calcium and slick,


native in a way I am not,

endangered in a way


I am not, class bivalvia

unlike me, phylum Mollusca


unlike me, kingdom Animalia

like you.


Highly impearled, highly imperiled,

muscled hearts keening my heart,


stone blossoms hinged and mantled

and finely fibered—


suddenly unhoused,




suddenly silted out of the world.

May I, the unendangered—


may my mighty species, weak

hair, grey teeth, cut skin—


may I