, , , , ,

Rocks press into my back. The purple sky sinks low like a warm blanket. I chip away at a piece of the moon and it slices my hand, oozing blood. Soon, this place will be underwater. Already, the current is encroaching, washing sure and fast over the neck of land.

I rise, eyes no longer level with the myriad of stones. My pocket jangles with an agate as clear as nectar, a stone with the infinity symbol on it, and paste for my lips. I walk along the seawall, feet sinking deep into the sand. Tiny crabs scamper just below the surface of the water, in and out of a child’s forgotten footprints, softened by the sea.

I pick a crab up. Those tiny, pearly claws can do no damage. I let its legs encircle my finger, its claws pinching at my shallow nail. I hunker down and release my captive, watching the vents opening beneath the sand and burbling upwards. One crab, larger than the others, half glides, half walks on stilted legs over to the vent for food invisible to my naked eye.

I slip my finger into the slick inside of the moonsnail’s shell and watch the hermit crabs move like tiny horses, reaching forward to set the sea floor behind them. I pull out the largest of these, watching him stealthily emerge only to dart back into hiding as I breathe. At the surface, I let go, and he tilts and weaves downwards to set softly down below.