Self-Portrait as a Sea Turtle
They say that all vertebrate embryos
look alike. But only my shoulder bones
slide inside the rib cage, and only my
shell is made from the empty space of
those ribs fusing to become a wall
that will keep me hidden from the world.
A philosopher once asked me, in front
of an entire galaxy of fishes, why I don’t
grow my shoulders inside the rib cage
from the beginning? “I don’t know,” I replied.
“Like you, I am a mystery of evolution.”