It occurred in two phases:
quiet years of the life aquatic
then flight, for just a few hours,
before I died on the foamy shelf
overlooking my bag of offspring.
To the dark water I reluctantly
return, over the worn stones
home where I am called, like
all my kind, back into sand,
the substance of our history.
Some of the dead are winged.
Some are not. I do not care,
I do not remember. The past’s
weight crushes my carapace.
I did not know love, only
blindness. I ate animals
much larger than myself,
moved in the shadows,
attacked a human child.
There was no redemption
but job security: visitors
wandering in from the light,
whose voices rang and stung,
never forgot the sight of us.
We grew huge in the riverbed.