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White Shells and Humans

White shells have tongues they dig into the sand. They bury themselves under the cool dirt and try not to be dragged away by the harsh currents.
 
Humans dig themselves into a hole so they don’t have to experience the pressure of their stressful ordinary lives. They’ve touched the core of the earth once before and burned their hand.
 
White shells don’t always tunnel themselves down fast enough and sometimes the hands of the powerful ocean drag them into the dark. Their tongues still out, still dragging against the floor.
 
No matter how far humans bury themselves the pressure of living can still wrap its hands around the human’s neck and drag them away, they keep humans awake to finish a project and read screenshots of what people say about them until their eyes fall out.
 
Soft flesh covered by a white shell.
 
Soft heart covered in iron.
 
Pearly white shells break just like pearly white teeth.
 
White shells have tongues to burrow into the sand so they won’t be taken by a blue hand.
 
Humans have shovels to dig a way out of responsibilities.
 
White shells and humans should switch lives for a day.
 
Humans use their tongues to cover themselves with sand, to allow the ocean to touch them. Never take them.
 
White shells use shovels to mine the earth.
 
Humans dig their soft flesh into the gritty sand so the ocean won’t carry them into the empty blue.
 
White shells don’t like being human.
 
Humans don’t being human.
 
White shells are good at digging.
 
Humans are good at avoiding.
  
White shells get ripped open by beaks and swallowed by fish.
 
Humans get ripped open by money and swallowed by other humans.
 
White shells can’t scream at all when the ocean pulls them into the deep and eats them. Cracks them like an egg shell. Devours their insides.
 
Humans choose not to scream when someone drags them into a pit of sorrow and feeds them despair. Cracks them like an egg shell. Devours their happiness.
 
White shells have only one simple responsibility, don’t let the ocean take them.
 
Humans have many responsibilities, too many for them to really care.
 
White shells have sharp edges.
 
Humans have sharper edges.
 
White shells dig their tongues into the sand so they don’t get swept away by the big ocean. They dig because their lives depend on it. Because the white shells before them did it. The white shells after them will do the same.
 
Humans touch the scorching lava in the hole they’ve dug and relish the pain. They do it because those before them have done it. Because the person sitting next to them on the bus allows the slow burn to help them thrive. Those after will do the same.

Her thumb runs across the smooth white shell, so tiny and fragile. So tiny and fragile but so much stronger than her. The oceans salty tears run down her sun kissed cheeks that will soon swell with puffy redness if she doesn’t find herself some shade. She crushes the shell in her hand not caring if the sharp edges tear open her flesh, thankful for the dull feeling of pain. With a lazy throw her blood and crushed white shells plop into the big sea.






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