the nautilus must
rise from deep reefs to glimpse the sun
gold-shimmer on the bright silver ceiling of the sea.
It cannot long abide in dancing columns of blue light
but must find its home in the lightless realm of dayless night.
There, in endless reaches of black sea, it preys ceaselessly.
Time does not pass but it floats by imperceptibly
until, finally, the failed molluskan pulse takes flight.
Then, up from the inky fastness of its coral caves,
robed in many-chambered splendor,
glorious in death,
[Posted to Magnapoets – June 2006.]