The Snail

My love is cochleate. I await
the slow reveal of that which is 
hidden, always revisiting the dark 
side of the moon as it changes phases. 

I trace the spiral. The disorienting 
turns swallowed by the whirlpool 
of my mind, drowning in the wet slime 
of my lover’s gyrating tongue. 

The snail throws his darts: I love you—
like salt spilling. I recoil,
retreating into my shell. My past
 is a pest. Memories reemerge

like snails during heavy rains.
Remembering those nights that spiraled
 out of my control: wishing
for an escape as he spoke

in circles. His words disorienting
like an infection of snail fever
 during a flood. Swelling waves
twisting my tongue into silence.

He released his shame into my
quiet weeping, salt stinging
dousing me in the sorrow of our
marriage bed like a fern beneath

the waterfall of his greed.
I made my escape, circling
as the condor does above 
the throat of the canyon 

where the currents whirl like
the vortex of an eddy, their funeral 
in the sky after they feast 
on the dead. Death spiral. Expanding 

as it moves through time, hoping 
for space to breathe in this helical
existence. I resign to the deliberate
glide of a snail. The wise walk
counterclockwise, a journey leading
back to source, movement from the inner
manifesting to the outer. A glimmer
of light shines onto the sacred spiral.