Thursday, December 08, 2016


Gordon T. Taylor, "Diatoms: NOAA At The Ends
of the Earth," 1983

My fingertips, light on a jelly jar,
yours near mine, as we raise the
dead—these are the things we’d
do for art. We didn’t think to ask
after our dead beloveds, then. I

wish now we had, not to disturb
our fond dead, but to have taken
comfort in a longer good-bye. We
who stumble through uncertainty

in our shape-shifting skins—watch
as the glass rings each letter, fast
then faster, “L” then “O,” dancing
towards “V” and “E,” then “U.” An

alphabet, spelling wishes as gifts;
arabesques of touch/no-touch, all
our longing, scribed in tempos as
intimate, familiar as a heartbeat.

The other side of the board, the
side the cup doesn’t glide upon,
is lit in the absence of light—pin-
pricked with souls, as improbable
as joy, as beautiful as diatoms.

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