Thursday, March 02, 2006

Saturnidae

ON LEARNING THE LUNA MOTH HAS NO MOUTH

I have been thinking of the moon again

and the moth named for it

which has no mouth,

how it lives only for a week

after unfurling

from the translucent lime shell

inside which it began

to learn flight

and forget the imperative of hunger,

and I have been thinking

of the ocean

once more,

but not the ocean

and not all the things inside of it

swimming in darkness

with their hungers,

the tiger shark caught and killed and emptied

of two overcoats,

one raincoat,

a driver’s license

and a chicken coop—

no, I was thinking of kelp-swaddled mermaids,

their drowned choir,

their bottle-green skin,

the line at which glittering scales

becomes skin,

becomes human

almost,

and I have been trying to think,

to remember

before sleep

my name and address,

height and weight,

the blue of my eyes

before you swallow me or I you.

5 comments:

cK said...

I was reading an Irish blog (now based in New Zealand) and the writer had noted a sudden fascination with QuestionSwap.com. You ask your question. You answer a question. Everything is handled anonymously via e-mail.

This recalled to me a poem line of yours: How does one become gruntled?

I sent it to QuestionSwap. Someone, god knows where, responded inside of 10 minutes. The wrote: "Clearly, it's the emotional state you arrive at as you depart being disgruntled." Suspect.
-cK

Paul said...

If only I could remember which poem that's from!

Melissa said...

This is lovely.

Paul said...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

"the line at which glittering scales
becomes skin,
becomes human
almost,"
what a vivid detail. i love it, really love it!