Song Of The Atlantic Horseshoe Crab

Translucent blood siphoned
With syringes and pipes,
Your fluid inundates
Troughs, factory
Managers desperate
For profitable results
Turn graphs upside down
Just like the crabs in
The robotic hands
Of night-shift staff.

There are thousands
Of shelled companions
Held in vices and
Archaic contraptions
As far as the visiting
Eye can see.
Atavistically
They expected far
More universal blinks
On east coast sandbanks
With lamallae fins
Flicked like pages
In a novella
Held by the idle illiterate
Hand of the God
Of The Very Last
Sea Breeze.

Then your blood
Infused by oxygen
Turns to liquid blue
Like the manager’s
Nightcap Curaçao
Or a football team’s shirt
Sponsored by the industry,
And it is that cobalt
Saline-bred
Iridiscence
Giant pharmaceutical
Ostriches desire
In their hunt for clean
Chemical equipment.

So, sad specimens,
You are ritualistically
Exsanguinated
In factories where
Strip lighting flickers
And the workforce
Experience nightmares
Where crabs with giant
Poisonous incisors
Triumphantly cut
Out their underpaid hearts
On a daily basis.
Many awake at dawn
With sweat in their
Underwear.
The inventive
Revenge of Nature,
Your feet are your flags
And you sing in your sleep
For your native place
Where waves are high
And the waters are green
And the rockpools are deep.

They drop you off from tractors
Half-asleep, numb beneath
Layers of geology
Stored in your heart beat.
It’s worse for the males
Sometimes, too tired
To reproduce, and sometimes
For the larger females,
Caught in a predatory way
And unable to move.

What the trustees did not realise
With all those dollars counted,
Is that when the final carapace
Turns upside down, empty,
Hollow, held aloft
By a boy on the beach,
Like a sand timer with cracks,
Humanity’s luck falls out.

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