It was the old names we thought to shed, our writing a search for language too lively for words—
yes, it was names we feared, we who had lived in them like hermit crabs in borrowed shells, walking crabwise across the endless dunes, soft underbellies hidden, bearing our need for cover on our backs, above us, the heavens—a name to harden the blue. And soon, outgrowing an armor only adopted, we would find ourselves searching again and again (though we dreamed of release) for a larger container . . .
What did it mean to shed
time after time, the shells— to write up a storm, sweeping everything clean, ending like Beethoven’s Sixth in a sweet allegretto, and a coda of peace ( pianissimo), and when it was done, was anything changed but the page, was even a stalk of grass disturbed?
Yet, didn’t we leave the beach littered with beautiful shells, outgrown shelters from which life had moved on, gleaming among the cases of the still unexploded munitions, the tides turning again, a silent sky invaded by thunder, the peace after storm forever expected.