Stepping out of our shells by talking,
introducing each other to our dips
and hollows, telling the stories of our scars.
It’s how we got here, isn’t it? Opening
unsealing unlocking launching, beginning
it all. See the small absence in my shin
where I fell sharp on the breakwater rocks
with an ex; your fear of wasps from when
stepping wrong steered a tidal wave
of them out to make a meal of you
foot to head. The shock of finding ourselves
our shells behind us, there naked on the sands
together. Our old shells too small to retreat to. Stuck
and talking, laughing, fighting all the good—
and horrible—battles. As the living do.
Brave as the naked crabs finding their new homes.
– Neile Graham