the housing market (20220414)

snails are rare here

they were everywhere
in southern california
especially after a good rain
they'd exit flower beds
and rock gardens
meet up on the sidewalk
to discuss the imminent
end of the world

here it is slugs
banana, leopard,
dark black ones like oozing wet
chocolate caramels

i find a snail on the driveway
solitary
carrying his refuge
his defenses
on his back

or maybe his burden is light

he takes a trip to the grass
just in case the robins are interested
in entertaining a guest at breakfast

i look for him later
but I do not see him
a trail of glistening nail snot
he has taken his house and moved on
without so much as a "for sale" sign