Panthalassa

The light that hummed in the amniotic sea
The algae that latticed itself into Tokyo-sized mats in the shallows
The moment the world became a benediction

it started snowing in the old quarry
The sky hymned
and I felt wee, owlish The endless tinkering of subduction  The blueprints for teeth  The syrinx, cirrus, the skate egg case
             staring out over the valley from cut rock 

The psalms of Tethys and Mirovia

             to the smoke of my own chimney

The wet heaven tinged with the stink of love 
The stink of growing beyond oneself—

///

Strata of the roadcut, candelabra 
      of sumac, the ox-
            shaped hills of the peneplain

The gills of the gar of the estuary’s brackish  shelf, breathing all tides

The veery slowed down sounding like Sunflower Slow Drag like Weeping Willow

When I’m wary  of weariness each feels the very crux of somethings more

The very depth of the glacial lake, the very first kiss, very scattered-to-the-winds—

///

—one night in Truro on the wrist of the continent a twitch of my eyes sent them to the Bight of Benin, to Svalbard, to Gaul, to the horse latitudes, through the emphatic and not-so-emphatic geographies of the night, to everywhere I was before being born in this place, bundle of musculature wet and off-guard, wisps of hair and bone, length and weight, reverse-ghost like snow just starting to fall, the luck of it all—illumination—

///

The river swelling like a flock of altos mid-verse in Misteriou joaius
The river sidling and consuming the bluff
The moment it disappears forever

         two yearlings spy me from across the frosted traprock
The whole configuration may reverse
         and retreat into multiflora rose

The endless plains become endless plains of ocean
The borders dissolved
The lignin, the leaf, the heartwood

        though their breaths remain in the freezing air
The vespers of the clades
       
        that burns in my lungs too

The named returned to namelessness 
The song the same



Note: The phrase, “wee, owlish” comes from “The Ballad of Geeshie and Elvie” by John Jeremiah Sullivan, The New York Times Magazine, April 13, 2014.

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