The Crab

At the night-markets old women
peddle their prices, shouting
in swift Cantonese over gurgling tanks
of sea spawn: snails, young eels born
for smoke, coal, skewers,
the blood clams loll, tongues over shell lips
as we buy a bag of cockles and three crabs, all female,
sweet with egg; their claws beg against plastic,
puncture holes in the cherry-red Please Come Again.

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