Song of the Mantis Shrimp

We’ve been boxing

since the Eocene, studied

the sweet science swinging

at speeds to make Mayweather

blush, throw five-hundred blows

in one human wink.


My hands boil


break shells upon

crab’s backs like glass.

Which we smash

when men in white coats

kidnap our kind for secrets

held in our cells. Bullets

become feeble for armor

made in our image.


I am purple


pink ultraviolet neon dappled flame

and see

darkness like daylight,

heat, another paint on God’s easel.

Saw my mother’s heart in beat-burnt lines,

cancer’s black tendrils

in my father’s candy-red chest,

watch the life fade from prey

sunsets of death each time I dine.


You will never dream a single glimpse

of my Earth. These eyes, heaven-blessed

witness wonders bestowed for us only.

My people prowl the ocean proud

2-inch Neptunes whose subjects

cower not bow.