Today's poem is by Steven Cramer
with a debt to William Meredith
We pray they'll bury us, naturally.
Less seen of their insides the better.
But once they start to speak, a gut-
punch to their questions is a cinch:
"Where was I before I was?"
"Get off that table; it's glass."
Candlepins of equilibrium!
They spazz out like cola-guzzling
polar bears, Duracells dwindling ...
One night, when the leopard geckoes
we sketched on their backs
refuse to doze, we're left to watch
as they shrug off to bed, more mad
the lizard's no lizard than at us.
Darwin knew our feral care: Yours
smiles like a troll; mine, a basilisk.
Then comes the worst effrontery:
sprouting wet thatches or dry
humps, if they deign
to unbolt their bedroom doors
it's only to lock horns about
a paper on Jacques Cousteau
who loved touching water, built
a breath-machine, nearly drowned
in an underwater grotto, and died
of old age, ever-ready for risk
and to be amazed.
Copyright © 2006 Steven Cramer All rights reserved
from Harvard Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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