He was the pearl she boasted, whom she lifted from clay
with a word, like God, from evidence of worms,
his beauty got neither for work, nor trade,
gift from the reach of a hand.
Had she powers, she would have sung
enchantments to the hole in the bottom of the sea,
seen all the ocean sunk, if only he
were sheltered in the sawdust of her palm –
in time, made coral of his bones, a spotless pearl
of that one eye, of his contours, cells – caskets
where we dwell – seen not
the pearl is also shell, mere stuff,
coffer we hold, jewel we mourn, account its center lost
when its roundness rolls away from us in the grass,
vanishes in the ground.