Saturday, September 5, 2015

Third Degree

Imagine that you're a dolphin
And all your friends and relations
Are flying fish or coelacanths.
Imagine that you're an eared seal
And all your pals are dolphins.
Imagine that you're an otter
And all your intimates are seals:

How do you explain your need
To come up so quickly for thin
Air, source of none of your nourishment,
Utterly unlike the sea in your blood,
Alien for aeons to all life ever knew of life?

You crave something that enabled
A new kind of craving once, among
Ancestors who could not possibly sense
Where air and lungs would lead, how hard
Life could be on land, terroir noir, terror
Firm, the longing to go back to sea.

Aren't you happy to be back where you
Belong? They ask you through gills
And blowholes, variously. You hold
Your breath, effortfully, and burbling
Reply, happy I know has nothing to do
With what I have always had to need.

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