A Poem By Sara Sutter

by Mark Bibbins, Editor

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.