Blue Crab
By John C. Mannone

            Callinectes sapidus

Chesapeake Bay green slips off its back
leaving water color on its carapace

Sun’s yellow, muted by the depths,
splays the underbelly’s reflective coat

Sky paints blue on claws, pieces of its paddles
Peddles water with graceful locomotion

            Articulate arthropod

Finesses a sideways wake in its molted suit
leather-slick, like wet words slipping off the page

Sheds the sea, as all its facades in lunar rhythm
The tide washed off of barnacled rocks

It gathers with the others on those rocks, spitting
commands through hiss of bubbles, roar of rumors

typical of any ruling class, this congregation
of cangrejos

Arms fold, extend in balance, work with dexterity
of a double front-end loader scooping, grappling

the scavenged flesh of fish and other ruthless ravage
as any respectable benthic detrivore would do

Pincers poised in opportunism, incessant
in fending-off the predacious, but doesn’t murder—

unless you count cannibalism perhaps to cull
the weak, the old, the ones without

the right shade of blue
No perfection of the gene pool yet

just replication of twisted DNA sequencing
the evolution of man to crab

            Homo sapiens sapiens

John C. Mannone, nominated three times for the Pushcart, has poems in The Pedestal, Mobius, The Legendary and Apollo’s Lyre. He edits poetry for Abyss & Apex and Silver Blade, teaches college physics in east Tennessee and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador. Visit The Art of Poetry.