The Houses We Live In

Mud daubers, wasps under the eaves
enclose themselves in a humming.
Hermit crabs scuttle under ill-fitting shells
swishing across the sand. They grow out
of periwinkles and limpets. Move on
into clams and baby abalones.

The sand-dollar seems like a stone.
A fossil of itself, the leafed plant
of its body embedded in an exoskeleton
washed by the sea. In a limpid tidepool
or under the waves of a storm, their lives
go on much the same—oblivious.

My daughter drew me with Kali arms
juggling the chaos. Who lived under there?
Someone who was me—
someone I kept asking
others to describe.