A gravid female apteryx, in x-
ray: the four-pound body swollen
with a gross one-pound egg. What
system would account for thirteen
separate sorts of finch, thirteen
acts of special creation? Long dappled
grass, a highway paved with
linnets' wings. Discipline. You learn
to channel those nasty drives.
A word for it, Hegelian almost.
The Real Thing. Das Es. Look, but don't
touch. Don't see. One language alone,
he tells, won't do, but what's said
isn't worth the hearing. Some god
bends his graceful, rib-rounded
torso to touch some nymph. Instant
rerun. She has an idea for the muse,
sharper than she ought to be, more
determined by far than me. Father
Helios, all a-wobble.
Very like a whale. Or a wombat.
(Begin again.) The beautiful young
people once dazzled with their earnest
resolve. Today the coastal metropoles
crumble as ironic sea levels centimeter
upward. How much of that debt
is mine, how much yours? And who
do we pay it to? Era, earful, any time
of day. Others' letters delivered, speed
on to whatever shadowed box.