Sunday
Jan242016

Jesus for Lobsters

Robert Campbell




Say there are fifteen holy beatitudes for lobsters.
Pretend with me. Blessed are the spiny ones, 

for their hearts shall be smoothest. That’s number
twelve. Blessed are they who perish beneath

the huddled mass of weaponry, for they shall see
the lobster god. That’s number seven. What do

we know about lobsters, really, beneath armored
shadow-anatomies, lumbering about

in the supermarket aquarium, scuttling silently,
pincers bound? What do we know about the god

that lobsters pray to? About what angels carry
such barbed artilleries of red, and to what kingdoms,

by what covenant? We don’t know anything
about the lobster god, his calcite throne

of antler reef. I think he would be wise and hard, hard
to love, his claws and antennae red, infernal almost,

his sayings secret and severe. Lobster Jesus
is neither kind nor personal. He isn’t going

to save you. No, the men are coming with their pot,
their forks, their metal tongs to crack your carapace

in two. They want your treasures to be cheap,
yielding, the shell of you strewn across a table.