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