Well before there was
Aristotle, there was aa,
which comes as no surprise
to geologists who never
doubted the history
and creation of
Well after the zebra
there was the zygote,
which a biologist
would tell you
is putting the cart
well before the horse.
The lexicographer will say
that he did not create
this disconnect, for he
or she is a mere recorder,
so you’d have to go
back the the source —
if you can find
to lead you there.
As strange as it seems, I can
spend hours in a used bookstore
lost in the marginalia, and textbooks,
particularly those in psych and sociology
are generally the most fertile,
for those students, though they would
never admit it, pursued those fields
hoping to find answers to their own
problems without having to ask.
Yesterday’s visit was particularly fertile,
but it was a college introductory text
in biology that grabbed and held me.
In the margin of a short chapter mentioning
thoracic anatomy was a question
for which I have no possible answer:
Does the diseased heart in the metal
operating room basin curse the body
on the gurney who was supposed
to join it in the ground, and what of the
donor who goes back to the soil
heartless and utterly and eternally alone?
“Describe yourself,” she said
“that I might capture you
if only for this moment
a footprint left once you
have departed this place and time.”
I am, I should think,
though straining the bounds
of reason once and again.
I tend to philosophic androgyny
hovering on the fulcrum of paradox.
I am the cynic, hurling
great brick bats at God,
relying on her forgiving nature.
I am the imprisoned child
who can see through
unclouded, smiling eyes
beauties and joys just beyond reach.
This is the impression my foot
will leave, until the first wave
erases it from memory.