Wednesday, July 18, 2012

All Wounds

Where does it come from, this gift
For self-repair that means life?
The universe appears full
Of matter and energy
In endless, conjoined tango,
But the stars don't heal themselves.
Galaxies don't patch their gaps.

We know the consequences
Of the gift: competitions
That never end, extinctions,
Parasites and predators,
Marvelous adaptations,
Symbioses and stand-offs,
The whole mad beauty of Earth.

We know how the gift frames us.
Only what rebuilds itself
Can hunger, succeed, fail, die.
But the gift itself baffles.
A rock can't be infected.
A river can't nurse its wounds.
How did what makes rocks make us?

Rebirth, renewal are forms
Of the gift, our sexiness
And parenting extensions,
Expensive alternatives
To ordinary repairs
Of the flesh. We get better,
Or, to hedge our bets, divide.

In one sense, we're pure success.
Nothing alive around us
Has failed yet, continuous,
Unbroken back to the dawn
Of self-preserving habits,
Redundant, miraculous
Survival of survivors.

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