I wrote a poem

about a turtle I loved

but died and I, not wanting

to, shelled her. I would

have left her outside

to herself, let the flies de-gut her

but the sheen of the shell

would be lost to the rain

her tombstone tarnished.

I wanted my memory

and her shell to be clean

so I tore her apart myself

cleaned her off her shell

and kept it in my closet.