Georgia Aquarium, 2006
What draws us here? A dim room, glowing from the inside,
and windows of blue so violent, I concluded—
When are the moments of failing?
Our realization of some thing was immediate, hands flat against the ache.
These are similar to us, or they are inside, and if I were to touch one,
one of two things would happen: pain would shock me normal or,
I wouldn’t feel anything. They’ve tangled. And stay there. What harm
can they cause? pulsing and lukewarm, simple brains throbbing.
Now and again they lift, begin to pull away. But there is a machine
providing a current, and the danger of losing something never needed. What are you
full of, jellies? Flashes? But you don’t make your own light. And isn’t it this way for each of us? Always borrowing.
Do we begin in the deep? Do we arrive there? Oh. We never arrive.
Somewhere’s a lake where the impact of touch has evolved away.
You may cup each pink heart in your hand until you find yours, or a new one, or even
if you don’t want another or anything to do with these, at least you can ask them
varieties of Why did this happen?
Somewhere grains have become a part of us, and we are flat and left to dry.
And underneath are rooms of brine, a lady slipper, coquinas.
But even if the tide returns in time, the sun eventually enters all things.
A stick is dropped beside us and somebody walks away.
Photo by Bowen Vigus