“Crab” by Corinne Vicario

Corinne Vicario (age 14)


My dad and I sit on a sun-watched dock,
crabbing, winding bright white lines

around our fingers, holding clenched
the net. The line convulses—

slowly I now hoist it to the air,
and swish the net, and recognize

respective strength, my thin arms
holding pounds of water and crab-life.

I dump it on the deck. Yellow sponge
is oozing from its shell, inside which

children grow. I jam my net into its chest
and crack it. Yellow yellow.

How does a child reconcile itself
with the realization that it has a uterus?

How could they explain, at that age,
the yellow sponge, that amateur dissection,

prizing apart the thin cracked shell, my father
with his mastectomy scars?

It was not explained to me. I threw the crab
into the water since we could not eat it.

from 2018 Rattle Young Poets Anthology

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