Cannibals

by

Sarah E. Azizi

God doubled the shell of the crab, knowing
how sweet its meat would be. In captivity,
the crab dreams of a third layer, unyielding.

Claws, oceans, and even grains of salt haunt
the mouth of my dreams. Waves whisper:
what will the next season bring?

I dream myself in shells, blue and shimmering. Salt glazes
my thickened fingers as I slice through waves, toward you.
Where is the line between rescue and capture?

If caught only by claw, the crab can sacrifice one,
even two, for freedom, trust it will recreate itself. The crab
dreams of nets curling, one leg snagged, then another—

I dream of waves ebbing, my shells separating, muscles
growing thick as I push through sand and silt. I dream
of your hands, outstretched to catch me as I wash ashore.

You wait, beneath sprinkling rain, on the thick, damp
sand. Reaching the edge, at last, I tender my claws
for hands. Tell me, how many ways can you touch?

Sarah E. Azizi (aka Sera Miles) is a queer Iranian-American writer, educator, & activist. Previous publications include $pread Magazine, Phoebe: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Feminist Scholarship, 34th Parallel, Blue Mesa Review, Fahmidan Journal, Clean Sheets, red, The Tide Rises, HELD, Wrongdoing Magazine, the winnow, Superpresent, Nine Mile, and Free State Review.