Sea Snail
Catherine Prescott

Sea Snail

The sea snail’s home
+++++++would go quickly
in any market. Spiral
+++++++house, ancient symbol
of the sun or more
+++++++like a galaxy.

There’s the mathematical
+++++++seashell surface—
calculus of rotation
+++++++and radii—and then
there’s the seen surface,
+++++++iridescent home, flaked
rainbow shades of sea glass,
+++++++itinerant ocean disco,
motor home for one.

+++++++The sea snail slithers
over water-smoothed
+++++++stones for the next meal,
or maybe a mate.
+++++++What else is there
but watchful predators
+++++++around every coral
nook, the pulse of water,
+++++++and algae blooming
inside the sea’s night?

+++++++I heard the ocean
in a spiral shell
+++++++that washed up on our sand.
In it the rumors
+++++++of larger fish swirled—
engines of shark fins
+++++++sliced wave after wave,
and another tone, one
+++++++I hadn’t heard before,
an operatic baritone—
+++++++and in the center
of that sound was the sea’s
+++++++voice itself
intoning its primal
+++++++longing to meet
another planetary shore.

Catherine Prescott

has contributed poems to The Adirondack Review, American Poetry Journal, Linebreak, Poetry East, Spoon River Poetry Review, Rattle, and other journals. A graduate of NYU’s MFA program, Catherine is the author of the chapbook The Living Ruin (Finishing Line Press). She lives with her husband, two sons, and daughter in Miami Beach, Florida.