A Poem By Sara Sutter

Golden Cowrie

Flamingo tongue with a Saturn-ringworm shape,
          mainly very polished, part
                    abalone sea-ear,
                              probably named “cowrie”

for the fissure’s resemblance to the vulva
          of a sow, or the breast-implant-
                    function it would later
                              fill. The Romans called it

“porculi” for porcelain and little pig.
          The Greeks, “a column, a spiral
                    staircase, a rococo
                              currency.” Today they’re

known as “turbans,” “seizing Europe with the same
          fervor as Tulipmania.”
                    Nonetheless, cowries use
                              holes to breathe. “The raised parts”—

nervures and aureoles—protect by hugging
          “mantle lobes, labral portions,” when
                    movement occurs. They live
                              on submerged reefs emerg-

ing suddenly and slide over them with ease.

Sara Sutter’s work appears in Fence, Windsor Review, Konundrum Engine, Portland Review and various artisan journals.

Ayo, so many more poems up in this piece. You may contact the editor at poems@theawl.com.