The Sin of Evolving, #51

Perched over the far line, edge
of the world, the horizon’s
long thin frown, looking to land
as if that destination,
whiskers on a chin, could hold
some treasure, as if mammals
will always and only walk
on unwebbed bipeds. And what
will you do when evolved,
when you arrive, but demand
time to lay flat on your back,
time to spend in baths and pools,
call parked blubber and swishing
fingers cross that invention
surfing, slide under blankets,
wrap in clothing, only nude
when you return to water.
Why, the ocean asks, for what
did you leave anyway? Why?
It’s a long way from plankton,
cuttlefish, sea bass, a long
time to aerate gills, contort
lungs, erase your memory,
wave and say good-bye, long time.

Here are the cliffs of Dover, here
the beach at Normandy, cliff
divers in Acapulco.

The world can not turn the sad
horizon on its head, not
twist in such a way to flirt
with your small slit eyes. Parched out
and absent of membranes. Sense
the basin of the Ocean,
curling of your long tongue, floor
of your guts. This is the shape
that calls to you, that does not
forget, that offers a home
to all your waste and sluffings.
You will end here. Sleep and speak
of tossing and turning, blame
the mattress, the pillow, stress
from the job, the long commute
to and from work, talk of flow.
All joy swells up around this,
recall the shape of conches
and the exoskeleton.
Conceived of under water,
laid in wetness, agony
under the unbent sun, cold
in the light of stars, only
tormented in dry walking.

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