illustration of pastel pink-yellow sphere on pastel blue-pink background
Gabriela Pesqueira

Look, a natural defense
to whatever will damage,
hurt the small soul inside,
the soft-bodied creature,
mollusk: oyster or mussel.
Layer on layer of iridescent
nacre—made with aragonite,
calcite, binding conchiolin—
captures, coats, covers
the trouble. Hold it up
to the light, see light itself
broken down within
the shining layers—reflection,
refraction, diffraction.
You can tell the quality
by the hard, lucid surface,
the refined luster of survival.