@Cognac Blues Festival, 2011. Happy Days.
Photo by Candia Dixon-Stuart
Image: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration Reservoir and Research 2015
Yes, there are three of us in this marriage:
the shrimp couple and me – Euplectella.
It’s a symbiotic relationship.
They live in, rent-free, and vacuum for me
(food and utilities are included)
and have access to my crystal palace –
a conceptual, aquatic Grand Designs –
styled innovative build; a Habitat
lampshade, rather than Liberty lighting.
Shrimps grow into their own imprisonment,
enmeshed and limited by their own greed.
As a species, they are basket cases,
but accept that life is a compromise
and, at best, brittle and precarious.
The kids always leave as soon as they can,
but end up in the same situation;
hard-wired to repeat parental choices.
As bioluminescent chandelier,
I light up their narrow lives and they look
out through trabecular net curtains at
a profound darkness, filled with predators,
who, like voyeurs, spy on their every move.
Some find beauty in us when we are dead:
museum cabinets’ dust collectors.
Like Venus, we are not so delicate:
we strengthen co-operation until
all the oceans run dry; seas turn to glass.
Trust us. We are the transmitters of light.