The Paper Nautilus – Marianne Moor

The Paper Nautilus – Marianne Moor

For authorities whose hopes are shaped by mercenaries?

Writers entrapped by teatime fame and by commuters’ comforts?

Not for these the paper nautilus constructs her thin glass shell.

Giving her perishable souvenir of hope, a dull white outside and smooth-edged inner surface glossy as the sea, the watchful maker of it guards it day and night; she scarcely eats until the eggs are hatched.

Buried eightfold in her eight arms, for she is in a sense a devilfish, her glass ram’shorn-cradled freight is hidden but is not crushed; as Hercules, bitten by a crab loyal to the hydra, was hindered to succeed, the intensively watched eggs coming from the shell-free it when they are freed, leaving its wasp-nest flaws of white on white, and close- laid Ionic chiton-folds like the lines in the mane of a Parthenon horse, round which the arms had wound themselves as if they knew love is the only fortress strong enough to trust to. ~⚜

By ace101

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