Predilections and Predicaments

Miss Moore, you ought
to be living at this hour.
Only last night, by way
of cameras, I rappeled

the seven thousand feet
of an underwater volcano
(hid with others
near California) three

thousand feet beneath the surface,
to see, jutting from the mountainsides,
these coral spire
I insist, taller than trees...

I see a nameless creature lie,
nosing this thing resembling
giant stinging nettles
rising under sheets.

A bottom-sitting toadfish
is pushing in sand, a thin, shiny
fish is assisting,
and a wriggling squid

is gushing ink, eyeing
shell-encrusted soup cans, muddy
houses any crab
would gladly sign for.

What is discovery
but these processes by which we learn
there is no limit
to all we do not see?

_ The poem is an anagram of Marianne Moore’s “What Are Years?”

Mike Smith | Mudlark No. 30
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