He said, “Close your eyes and think of the sea,

And the night the crabs visited you & me.


The sun had set, as romantic as planned,

When the crabs emerged from small holes in the sand.

You spotted them first and you squeezed my hand.

First there were 10 or 12, then 30, 50 or more,


Suddenly, the nocturnal gathering covered the shore!”

She said, with closed eyes, “I remember that night,

How bold they were and how ready to fight,

– When you threw a stone, they attacked it raring to bite.


That towel became a safe haven where we would remain,

In the wilderness, trespassing on nature’s domain.

Trapped on our cotton island for hours we stayed,

Huddled close, in awe of this amphibian parade.”


Then he laughed, “I admit, we had smoked some weed,

But the whole beach came alive, their eyes like shifting, shiny beads.”

And so, with eyes closed, she let her memory breathe…


How the moonlight unravelled its silver tethers!

How magical life seemed when they were together!

How the starlight smiled upon the wet shore…

How the crabs made them fall in love even more!

… And how they should have listened to the local folklore.

Home of the crabs, Pajapan, Veracruz (Mexico)
Home of the crabs, Pajapan, Veracruz (Mexico)


Now she feels his hand on her arm in a caress,

Which speaks of nostalgic tenderness.


Opening her eyes to their magnolia-walled room,

In the crapped terrace house that they bought much too soon,

The murmurs of the sea have long since disappeared,

Replaced by bitter, bickering, resentment-filled years,

The shackles of the mortgage and a TV to suppress their fears.


Now they grasp each others’ fingers, like pincers, clutching at a vague hope,

Of surrendering again one day, to the joy and love the crabs once awoke.


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