Exploding Seashells

Quaker-Oats-4321“CIA assassination plots included poisoning a box of Castro’s favorite cigars with botulinus toxin and placing explosive seashells in his favorite diving spots.”

The box of oatmeal broke apart
In my hands, the Quaker man
Decapitated, his smile
An unreturned greeting
Forever.

One wonders how chance
And plan intersect. I found
A missing earring when I bent
To scoop up the oats.

What if he had not been drawn
To the purple drupa
And instead reached
For the virgin murex?

What if the oatmeal
Box had not been so slippery
And I gave up on finding
The earring and fashioned
Its lone mate into a decoupage
Picture and sold it just when
Crafted pictures were seeing
A resurgence in popularity
Among home décor?

Was this the earring under
The refrigerator’s plan? That it
Would hide until its mate
Achieved fame, all the while
Gathering dust and cat hair, perhaps
To be discovered one day,
Perhaps not, in its dotage,
A lonely yet humble purple
Glass bead with sterling wire
Who gave its life for love?

What did the virgin murex
Feel about the surgery
Of snail, the implant
Of plastic explosive, of death
Beneath the honeycombed bumps,
Inside the sleekness of entry,
Where a hand could grasp,
Fingers triggering flight?

What a strange and awful
Thing it is to be you.

–Shaun Perkins

 

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