Poems by Sierra Jacob

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Chameleon

by Sierra Jacob

From Canary Summer 2016

Sierra lives and writes beneath the lei of Haleakala, in the Kuiaha Gulch watershed.

You remember afternoons with cousins
picking up Jacksons, plucking them from lime branches
like razor backed jewels. Watching them fail to pause
when they reached the end of a finger
you would pass them between skinny arms
to keep the glowing bodies in motion.
Most would darken as they climbed along brown forearms
changing to match hairs bleached with sun.
For some it didn’t come so easily --
they would simply grow brighter
eyes swiveling in awe and confusion.




Ode to the Sheep Crab

by Sierra Jacob

From Canary Spring 2016

Smooth as a harvested cowry shell, Half Moon
           Bay is slick before the wind breaks. It is spring
and in shallows young sheep crabs decorate oval
           carapaces with bryozoans, barnacles
bydroids. Some will be parasitic, host crabs
           to be feminized: abdomens widen, wombs
grow for a brood pouch, their fighting claws fail to
           develop. Mating males adorn knobby leg
joints, tubercles with thin films of swish algae.
           They have already molted out of tight shells
carbonate exoskeletons trailing the
           migration out of deep sea, backing from old
hard skin. Limp husks left and caught in gillnets
           alongside thrashing angelfish and yellow tang
lassoed by their gills, teeth, and spines tangled in
           mesh netting. Once hunted for savory flesh

arms will be cleaved off, the live crabs thrown
           back and pulled in cool undercurrents.
Early morning beach walkers will swerve
           around their hollow casing, cans, smooth




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