Your concentration while you’re shucking them
Is fierce; they fight against your prying blade,
As if intent to guard some plumbless gem
Of truth. I squeeze some fruit for lemonade;
The yellow rinds become a fragrant pile.
More scraping from the deck, a stifled curse—
You bring me one, the frilly muscle pale,
Defeated, silent in its briny juice
Like sweat expended in the effort to
Remain inviolate. I slurp it down,
One dose of aphrodisiac, and you
Return to your grim work, all Provincetown
Draped out below you, edge of the known world.
I see what is left: bone-white, hollow-shelled.