Insectan Order


with only my pale blue instinct I
pushed aside the crate's coinage
and brushed the queerer circlet
shoved beneath straw:

the creature was awake,
a lithe glint of coil, amber-eyed,
wasp pupil, a crown.

my hand on it

                      or was it:

seized and taken, my hand

and how did it go, my memory asks
of the cells' swarm of parts and

set the gold upon my brow, then

from system to system the eyes
of one dissolve the eyes of another.

I recall it was nothing of madness,
but cannot recall how:

black block of bodies and the wonted
speed of us, our venoms poised inside
our motions with grace, such intimate
acquaintance with the breeze, the wide
balconies of leaves:

beneath the crown I
became a thousand swift masteries
of another order:

how many circles inscribed
in a sphere

                                   a geometry
distinctly non-Euclidean

                  ―but this tells nothing, nothing
                               of the voice

who troubled each magnet in us
and pronounced what I cannot
ever again call near,

though it was something like the air
seeking each part of me out,

each wing
each black arm
and mouth,

as if all of it were a single strain

and roaring like waves
one atop the other, its breaching
and astonishment, its song
upon my parts:





Places I've Been

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