Saturday, 18 June 2011

Saturday Poem


In the animal room at the museum
a brilliant green and white frog, immense,
from Argentina: an inverted bowl
with no legs, another incarnation of Buddha.

You have the skull of the previous one
in a small box: a treasure any boy
would envy. Five holes at the top
form a pattern like a sand dollar's.
I lift it and press it to my ear.
The jungle, not the ocean.

The brain case tiny, inversely related
to the size of the jaw.
Teeth like little razors,
a mouthful of suicides.

I held the skull up
to the frog's eye.
It blinked, once.
No detectable recognition,
or one so deep, amphibian
to amphibian, I couldn't sense it.
All these channels of communication,

They are what we've lost
or never had.

The geckos are powder blue with rust
and tan markings: jewels, tattoos,
beauty marks.

Nothing human matches this kind of beauty.

They drifted here from outer space
or we did.
One of us is alien.

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