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Posted: Jul 25 2008

Strombus gigas Linnaeus, 1758, Queen Conch; Pink Conch

The Pink Conch has been described by many. Here is one of the best by Tom Robbins (skinny legs and all, Bantam Books, May 1990).

"She had dropped in such a manner that she landed on the hard tip of her spire, thereby avoiding any cracking or chipping of her body or lips. For a second, she had stuck there in the cave floor's soil, balanced upright on her spire. Then, slowly, she had fallen over to rest on the low ridges of her body whorls. She had lain like an odalisque, lounging upon her whorled side, affording an unobstructed and, perhaps, immodest view of her tannish outer lip, her creamy inner lip, and the heavenly pinks of her opening, her aperture. ...the pink glow of Conch Shell was heavenly indeed." "The conch shell is the voice of Buddha, the birth-bed of Aphrodite, the horn that drives away all demons and draws lost mariners home from the sea. Colored by the moon, shaped by the primal geometry, it is the original dreamboat, the sacred submarine that carries fertility to its rendezvous with poetry.

Shaped by the primal geometry? No, the conch shell is primal geometry. Its perfect logarithmic spiral coils from left to right around an axis of fundamental truth. A house exuded by the dreams of its inhabitant, it is the finest example of the architecture of imagination, the logic of desire.

A calcified womb, a self-propelled nest, the conch shell outlasts its tenant, its builder, to go on alone, reminding the world's forgetful of their watery sexuality.

Mermaid's tongue. Milkmaid's ulcer. Courtesan's powder box. Ballerina's musk. With its marvelous pinkness, the glow from Conch Shell's long, smooth, folded aperture saturated the cave. It was a bonbon pink, a tropical pink; above all, a feminine pink. The tint it cast was that of a vagina blowing bubble gum."

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