Confident of the waters bearing shelled fruit in abundance,

they nailed their scattering of tiny dice-like buildings to the

cheekbone hillsides spilling down towards the shore,


and made their sons and daughters out of smoke, in

one-up, one-down houses separated only by elbow-room,

and alleys that ran with fishguts, piss and piety.


Only to the chapel was the gift of breathing space granted;

a half-acre plot up where the land sloped more forgivingly,

its deeper soil ready to receive their own empty shells.


first published in Eunoia Review, 2016


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