Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Snakes Used To Have Ankles


have concurred
that ancient snakes
had small hands
ankles, toes.

amphorae storing

and those
for grasping.
I asked my husband
a scientist
as well.

The storm light
( he said)
through which you slid
into my life.

Your own grip
lineaged from
their sleight of limb

tempting me
to taste a poem.

A swan's egg
that hatched
Helen of Troy.

An onion
Sylvia peeled,
her thumb print
Those blue plums
ripe and cool
Carlos ate.

The infinitude
of salt

Pablo said
would sing
yes sing;

but I never heard
I sparkled some
on an artichoke

stripping it
scale by scale
and felt a voice
shed metaphor.

Low and languid,
girthed in subtlety,
those  green whorls
of lotus

 sang, My Love,
sang  as solely yours!

This poem was inspired by a news article on line with the same title. It showcased a comprehensive study that scientists have done on the movement, bone structure and body composition of Jurassic snakes. And yes, they concluded they had tiny limbs and evolved on land rather than water. So this idea expanded into the idea of a female poet who discusses this finding with her scientist husband. He is bemused and admits that she probably, as a seductress and writer, inherited her "grip" on him from those mysterious and almost mythical creatures; thus tempting him, even leading him to taste the splendor of a poem. Something that is  unscientific and at times defies logic and reason. The allusions here range from  Virgil (The Aeneid )  to Sylvia Plath to William Carlos Williams and Pablo Neruda.


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