Clint Smith
Something You Should Know

is that as a kid, I once worked at a pet store.

I cleaned the cages

of small animals like turtles, hamsters,

rabbits, and hermit crabs. 

I watched the hermit crab continue

to grow, molt, shed its skin and scurry across

the bottom of the aquarium to find a new shell.

Which left me afraid for the small creature,

to run around all exposed that way, to have

to live its entire life requiring something else

to feel safe. Perhaps that is when I became afraid

of needing anything beyond myself. Perhaps

that is why, even now, I can want so desperately

to show you all of my skin, but am more afraid

of meeting you, exposed, in open water.




Found In Volume 45, No. 06
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  • Clint Smith
Clint Smith
About the Author

Clint Smith is a doctoral candidate at Harvard University and has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop, and the National Science Foundation. He is a 2014 National Poetry Slam champion and was a speaker at the 2015 TED Conference. His writing has been published in The New Yorker, The Guardian, The American Literary Review, Boston Review, Harvard Educational Review and elsewhere. He is the author of Counting Descent (2016) and was born and raised in New Orleans.