No Sanctum

Catherine Arra

I.

From the crown of an abandoned shell

the one no one wanted for the gift shop
the seaside memento; its flawed chamber etched
and cracked, a sliver shattered from its spire
cast aside, masked in muddied mulch, forgotten
until excavated, knocked, shaken
knocked again

the young gecko cascades to concrete
with wet sand, stunned still.

II.

One-eyed heron spindle legs the cloistered courtyard
her haven now, abandoned by the flock, never to mate
navigating her half world, half blind.

III.

Fragile is each thread unwound, unbound
isolated without shape, form, purpose:
twigs in a nest, cells of a hive,
people in democracy divided.