Mudlark No. 40 (2010)


Snails along the sidewalk and on the walls beside the sidewalk.
I see them in the morning, when I walk the dog.
Some sort of bird, perhaps a mockingbird, sings.
And snails cling also to the gumbo limbo trees.
If I pluck one to look at it, will I harm its shell?
Blue and yellow-striped creature, how did you grow so beautiful?
This is not an idle question, but an attempt to understand
fingernails and teeth, our downy hair and eyebrows
by understanding nothing, really: Certain things we know
are beautiful beyond themselves, simply to be real.
Just so my love will always shiver, even when my self is gone.
Just so my love is air and rocks, common things, the way she moves
like fresh air inside what we thought was nothing.
“Come in!” we keep calling to our former lives, “come home!”

Michael Hettich | Mudlark No. 40 (2010)
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