Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Aphrodite Anadyomene, Fresco from Pompeii, Casa
di Venus, 1st century AD, photo by Stephen Haynes

An ancient seabed made these hills, where
the only things rich and strange are the whistle
and percolation of bats bubbling up at dusk,
pouring out from a cavern beneath my feet. No
pearls, no coral; just karst, limestone, chalks,
and a seep hidden by maidenhair fern. I know
this place by touch more than sight now—loose
scree rolling underfoot, bare-root handholds,
slickrock, and tannic stains on all my fingers. So
when I tell you I held a fossil oyster shell to my
ear, held it there until I heard primordial oceans
lapping a warm shore, you should believe me.

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