Mark Doty

(10 August 1953 / Maryville, Tennessee)

A Green Crab's Shell - Poem by Mark Doty

Not, exactly, green:
closer to bronze
preserved in kind brine,

something retrieved
from a Greco-Roman wreck,
patinated and oddly

muscular. We cannot
know what his fantastic
legs were like--

though evidence
suggests eight
complexly folded

scuttling works
of armament, crowned
by the foreclaws'

gesture of menace
and power. A gull's
gobbled the center,

leaving this chamber
--size of a demitasse--
open to reveal

a shocking, Giotto blue.
Though it smells
of seaweed and ruin,

this little traveling case
comes with such lavish lining!
Imagine breathing

surrounded by
the brilliant rinse
of summer's firmament.

What color is
the underside of skin?
Not so bad, to die,

if we could be opened
into this--
if the smallest chambers

of ourselves,
similarly,
revealed some sky.


Comments about A Green Crab's Shell by Mark Doty

  • Susan Williams (11/20/2015 3:12:00 PM)

    Dang, there is no topic that this poet won't take off on and take us on a mental journey it would never have crossed our mind to take. Plus I enjoyed his plays on words! (Report)Reply

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Read poems about / on: summer, power, green, sky, travel, work



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 20, 2003



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