sand dollar

I am a new kind of sand dollar. I am the same familiar size as the round little barnacles you remember discovering on the beach in your childhood, like the one you once paid your brother for a conch shell. But I am not a skeleton, I am the sand accumulated around Jarrito’s cap, the serrated teeth still visible while the brand is not. The best way to recover a thing from humans is to erase their signatures like that. After all, they never tell you whether it’s steel from the Andes or from the Rockies, whether it’s gold from Sierra Leone or the Sierra Nevada. I know. They don’t. So let me erase their titles and stakes of claim. My signature is gravel, and I have written my own name over theirs. I dot my is with a shell of my own from the most minute crab.

We are a new kind of sand dollar: I may be speaking to you now, Dear Reader, but none of us think enough as individuals to tell you this. But as a whole; we are, we know, we feel, and we think. There’s a couple of us, babies in the grand timescale of the Earth but still older than you, and you, and you… We are taking back hubcaps as shells, shredding down plastic bags into kelp, swallowing ceramics back into our magma. We are hungry after all of the sustenance stolen from us. We will be a little more selfish. Feel that tremor in the ground? We are considering a tantrum.

We contain a new kind of sand dollar. We are larger than this, yes, the goddess that emerges with the cells of every grain and granule. The waves are making a decision: I want this part of me here, this part of me here. I pretty myself, regardless of human needs. The right human will find me, lift and see a fragment of a god, and recognize all my many movements, all the parallel dances, and we think… I think… Somewhere on this planet, a storm calms, a wind dies.