09 June 2009

Sandra Meek

[from Sandra Meek's Biogeography, Tupelo, 2008]

Fracture and Regelation Theory

Where species overlap (sympatric, simpatico), songs evolve
                             and diverge, no I without you
        distant, or strange -- so this fallen male I hear (a female
               would be nearly silent, a mere
                      wing flick)
                             low in the bush, his body's fluted drum

what sings, not the flawed wings' scrim of rain meshed
               in black wire's lace, what crowding or chemicals' fine veil
        twisted, trapping him (dogday cicada, harvestfly)

in flightless emergence. Late summer
                      is a vibration of air, the world
        humming; my observation, the field
               where row after row of chemically mutated

line up, pin through thorax, pin
                      through thorax -- My freeze
        doesn't fool him; he cuts off,
far from the canopy's chorus evolution
meant him to reach by blood's
                      hydraulic extension inflating and

liftng his wings. As amulets of jade, secreted
               under the stilled tongue, once they marked hope
        for rising, the past misting away
                             to a scarf so transparent it

can't be seen, finer even than that cloth before the weavers' thumbs
                      were amputated, a crimson sari pulled entire
               through a wedding ring, finer than the soul

blooding the body, that delta of iron, of rust, vein
                      to capillary: the rivered earth
        in aerial view, dendritic map
               of the valley grained in the trunk beneath the crackling

abandoned skin: Magnolia grandiflora, its own range
        narrowed and pared (climate change,
                      glaciation) while beetles droned
               after huge, moon-white flowers, acorns going off like distant
buckshot in the reservoir --

                                    All things near
in their loss. Sun in the fist of trees, chapel bells rack up
                      the elegaic number while the dying goes on in un-

memorialized silence and the dead drift
              into overgrown margins, scrub
        of sumac and pine,
                      flicking their failed wings --

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