Homology

By | 20 July 2007

My hand reaches into a batwing,
delicate pectoral maneuvering a fish,
the oar in plesiosaur,
even the sound cupping an ear.
Some form is revealing, some obscure.
Without experience, what could be predicted
from the huge black piano, one wing open.
Where would the necessary hands be waiting.
What I have read and forgotten has fallen back
into the books Frances is dusting
and rearranging by subject: all clouds together,
animals touching, a mythical shelf.
Outside, a beetle opens itself to read about flying.
Hard covers, then pages of wings, then stories
we can see through, then lifts off.
What I have read and remember, form into form,
should be written down before I lose it:
milkweed, which is straw into silver,
sperm in a kayak, harvestmen built like a star,
and all of those mandibles chattering
what they know, that flock of hands
asleep in the trees, my hand feeling its way
backwards through the raucous, jostling, bones.

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